Plainfield girds for new traffic headache: Route 30 widening
By Madhu Mayer Correspondent October 29, 2012 12:28PM
Updated: December 3, 2012 6:07AM
Anyone familiar with the recent Route 59 construction project in Plainfield can recall in great detail the congestion and traffic nightmares that plagued the area for several years.
So, it will be deja vu when the Illinois Department of Transportation commences with upgrades to the existing two-lane roadway on Route 30 by constructing two lanes in each direction between Interstate 55 and Route 59.
Besides modernized traffic signals and turn-lane improvements along the two-mile stretch of the roadway, other improvements on Route 30 include sidewalk and/or multiuse paths through most of the corridor.
Route 30 originally was built in 1922.
While the project is only in preliminary stages, Steve Schilke of IDOT said design approval for engineering and environmental study is under way. Then Phase II of the $42 million project will start, with contract plan preparation and land acquisition expected to take up to 24 months for completion. Only then will construction commence, possibly taking up to two years.
This means road closures and detours, a foreseeable traffic nightmare that is not lost on Schilke.
“We will do everything we can to help with the construction,” he said, but the engineer warned the public that unforeseeable issues like utility relocation and weather could determine how fast the project is completed. Schilke said every resource will be exhausted to lessen the impact south of Renwick Road where many of the businesses are located.
Schilke said mobility needs to be improved and safety must be addressed on Route 30.
He said the average daily traffic between the west frontage road and Renwick Road is 24,800 vehicles per day. That number is projected to increase to 34,000 within the next 20 years.
About 19,500 cars per day travel on Route 30 between Renwick Road and Route 59. The projected number in 2040 is 25,000.
When Trustee Bill Lamb asked about the projected traffic volumes, Miles Lindstrom of Plainfield said he understands why Route 30 needs to be reconstructed.
“It is a heavily used road,” Lindstrom said. “Route 30 definitely needs to be expanded so it can handle the traffic demands.”
Trustee Garrett Peck asked IDOT to always keep traffic-weary residents in mind during construction.
Another facet of the project, Schilke said, is to protect Lake Renwick Nature Preserve and Rookery during construction. So the herons are not harmed during breeding season from March to August, Schilke said no roadway construction will occur adjacent to the preserve during that period.