New hurdle to widening Rts. 31, 72
Village officials Monday night addressed what they hope will be the last remaining obstacle to the Route 31-Route 72 intersection improvement project.
A new requirement by the Illinois Department of Transportation has provided yet another potential roadblock to a project that has been stalled since 2005. IDOT’s new Complete Streets Policy requires the village, as part of the intersection widening project, to consider widening the adjacent bike paths/sidewalks that parallel the two state roadways.
However, even though the construction of the project — but not the engineering — is state-funded, the village board and its consulting engineer, George Schober, senior manager at V3 Engineering, saw numerous problems with the state’s request.
“It would be feasible, but there are numerous impacts and costs,” Schober told the board. “Eleven additional properties would be impacted by the construction as well as other impacts.”
The other impacts Schober and the rest of the board closely examined Monday night dealt with the proximity of the paths both to traffic near the busy intersection and to private property. Should the village construct 10-foot-wide bike paths, they would not only be right up along the curb at the intersection but also as close as eight feet from the adjacent properties.