The Study Area is located entirely within Will County and communities adjacent to the project include Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Plainfield and Joliet.
The communities in and around the project areas, have grown rapidly in recent years, and this growth is projected to continue. Traffic volumes have doubled and, in some cases tripled along sections of I-55 since the mid-1980’s. This traffic adds to congestion experienced in downtown Plainfield, on the west side of Bolingbrook and on Weber Road in Romeoville.
IDOT has designated this project as one that will utilize principals of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) as part of a robust public involvement process.
Context Sensitive Solutions is a collaborative approach to engaging as many stakeholders as possible; developing a project that will best fit into its surroundings; and using a flexible and creative approach to planning and design to provide cost effective solutions. Consideration will be given to addressing all modes of transportation and striving to preserve scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while maintaining and enhancing safety and mobility.
The Study Area will include 3.5 miles of I-55 from one-half mile south of Airport Road to one mile north of IL 126.
The study limits for the project include 2,700 feet of IL 126 to the southwest of I-55, 1,500 feet of 135th Street east and west of Essington Road, 3,500 feet of Essington Road north of IL 126, 2,000 feet of 143rd Street east and west of I-55, 4,000 feet of Lockport Street/Airport Road and 2,500 feet of the west Frontage Road.
The Village of Romeoville is located primarily south and east of I-55 in the study area. Access to I-55 is limited to the Weber Road Interchange which is severely congested and under a separate improvement study. Residential, commercial, and industrial development in the area is expected to increase the population by 87% and employment by 76% by the year 2040.
The Village of Bolingbrook is located primarily to the north of I-55 in the study area. Access to I-55 is limited to the IL 126, Weber Road and Route 53 interchanges. Bolingbrook has experienced significant development growth in the project area, with the industrial development along the I-55 corridor. This industrial development has resulted in significant truck traffic as well as increased vehicular traffic related to these employment centers. Population is expected to increase by 59% and employment by 29% by the year 2040.
The Village of Plainfield is located mostly west and north of the study area. Access to northbound I-55 is primarily from the IL 126 and US Route 30 interchanges with some traffic working their way through the Bolingbrook roadway network to Weber Road. Access to southbound I-55 is split between the Weber Road interchange and the U.S. 30 Interchange located south of the study area in Joliet. Population is expected to increase by 108% and employment by 66% by the year 2040.
It is possible that this project may not be able to be constructed completely within the existing right-of-way and therefore some land may need to be acquired.