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Plainfield adds on to Interstate 55 engineering study

Village: Consulting firm has done extensive work, but study is incomplete

PLAINFIELD – Work still is being done on an engineering study related to two potential Interstate 55 interchanges.

On Monday, the Plainfield Village Board approved an amendment to an intergovernmental agreement with Romeoville and Bolingbrook that was enacted in 2011 in order to have an access justification study done.

The villages enlisted consulting firm V3 Companies to do the study, which examines two areas – where I-55 connects with Route 126 and where it passes under Airport Road/Lockport Street.

State and village officials are looking at both locations to improve access to I-55 and reduce traffic congestion on municipal, county and state roads. The amendment allows the study, which is unfinished, to continue.

Plainfield recently was notified that, because of the extensive amount of environmental studies and reports over the past seven years, the cost of the study now is expected to be $3.26 million, up from a $2.6 million projection in 2009.

About $1.7 million of the total is covered by a federal grant. Plainfield will pay $605,770 toward the study, which includes $212,995 added on because of the additional work approved Monday. Bolingbrook is slated to pay $573,025 and Romeoville $458,420.

“This [study] is consistent with our strategic plan,” Plainfield Public Works Director Allen Persons said. “It gives us a seat at the table with decisions as far as design is concerned for both of the locations.”

Both locations in question are a bit limited when it comes to space. There are environmental concerns, especially with the Route 126 site, as it is surrounded by wetlands. The area in which Airport Road/Lockport Street passes over I-55 has limited right-of-way and is flanked by frontage roads.

Trustee Ed O’Rourke was concerned whether the village actually has a “seat at the table,” because Romeoville and Bolingbrook have taken the lead on the study and forwarded the proposed intergovernmental agreement to Plainfield.

Persons said the village has been invited to and participated in all design-development meetings since it signed on to the agreement in 2011, and was at two of seven environmental meetings, because they were held in Springfield and Chicago, making travel more difficult.

Persons said the village is best served being a partner in the agreement rather than a bystander. O’Rourke and the rest of the board supported the recommendation. Romeoville and Bolingbrook also have to approve the amendment.

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