IDOT focuses on Eisenhower Expressway reconstruction

November 17, 2009 3:12:11 PM PST
The Eisenhower Expressway is next on the list for reconstruction. The project is at least six years away and IDOT is hosting an open meeting Wednesday to get input from the public. The meeting is Wednesday, November 18, at the Best Western Chicago in Hillside from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Eisenhower Expressway is rarely free of congestion and many Eisenhower motorists have suggestions for IDOT.

Motorist George Damolaris said, "I believe if we increased the lanes or added lanes on top of lanes that would improve the problem."

Another motorist, Darryl Johnson, said, "Better materials, so they wouldn't have to work on it so much, as soon as it's done, they have to do something else to it!"

This type of input is what the IDOT hopes to gain from the public meeting Wednesday in Hillside and will focus on traffic issues along the Ike from Cicero to Mannheim.

"The public meeting on Wednesday is the first step in a 3 year process to identify transportation needs, a range of alternatives, and eventually solutions for the long term reconstruction of the Eisenhower Expressway," said Peter Harmet, IDOT Bureau Chief of Programming.

The section of the Eisenhower in this phase 1 study passes through seven suburbs as well as Chicago. One area that will feel a higher impact is Oak Park.

Not only do lanes narrow from four to three lanes, the Austin and Harlem ramps are on the left, making merging difficult.

Driver Jonathan Franklin said, "If we could have the exits all on the same side, because you're not prepared for the left hand exit when you're on the right hand side, it's difficult."

Village officials believe the solutions come in the form of more transit, not more lanes.

Oak Park Village President, David Pope, said, "A Blue Line extension would provide an opportunity to help strengthen the entire region by providing easy access for people to get to jobs and people to go to retail centers."

For more information and to follow the progress of the Eisenhower studies and construction go to eisenhowerexpressway.com


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