BOLINGBROOK – One of the final obstacles holding back the Interstate 55 and Weber Road interchange construction project near Bolingbrook has been cleared.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, in the Senate and Rep. Natalie Manley in the House was signed into law by Gov. Quinn on Feb. 3, allowing the Illinois Department of Transportation to move forward with the project to ease traffic in the area.
A law passed seven years ago designated 200 acres of land in Crest Hill as surplus state property and reallocated it for sale. The proceeds of the sale – estimated in 2007 to bring as much as $30 million – were to be used to help pay for improvements to the Weber Road and Interstate 55 interchange.
The land remains unsoldand because the law identified the land sale as the funding source for future construction and the road project could not begin without that revenue stream, according to a release.
The signage of State Bill 1219 will allow IDOT to move forward despite the land still being unsold.
“I am grateful that the governor understands the importance of this construction project and our need to move forward, independent of whether the land is ever purchased,” Senator Bertino-Tarrant said.
Will County officials estimate an average of 31,700 vehicles travel on Weber north of the interchange each day and 31,000 travel south of it.
IDOT estimates that an average of 107,800 vehicles travel each day on I-55 south of the interchange and 133,700 travel north toward the entrance of I-355.
“Will County is one of the fastest growing areas in the entire nation,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative that this roadway can handle our increased traffic and that residents and commuters are able to travel safely. This road project will accomplish that.”