Will County proposal to widen 143rd in Homer Glen, Homer Township draws backlash

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Proposal to widen 143rd Street in Homer Glen draws backlash
Homer Glen residents are opposing a Will County plan to widen 143rd Street between Lemont Road and Bell Road from 2 lanes to 5 lanes with federal aid.

HOMER GLEN, Ill. -- As Will County considers a $60 million plan to widen 143rd from Lemont Road to Bell Road, Homer Glen residents are voicing their opposition.

Christy Nahser keeps horses on a 31-acre farm in Homer Glen. Like many of her neighborhoods, she moved to this quiet area for its rural atmosphere and to get away from the congestion of the city and closer suburbs.

She's got signs in her yard opposing the proposal to widen the two-lane road that runs by the farm the five lanes.

"It's just gonna increase the traffic and the speed. People go down this road now at 60 miles an hour even though the speed limit is 45," Nahser said.

The road widening proposal applies to a three mile stretch that goes mostly through Homer Glen and Homer Township. A couple hundred residents shows up at a public hearing on the issue last week, most opposed to widening the road.

Some are concerned about the increased traffic in front of several schools along that stretch of 143rd. Many are worried about preserving the rural lifestyle that brought them there in the first place.

"We moved here to get away from the city. And now they're trying to shove the city down our throat," said Homer Township Supervisor Steve Balich.

Much of the funding for the project would come from federal grants.

"We could be throwing away tens of millions of federal aid dollars," said Will County Board Member Joe VanDuyne, who supports the expansion project.

Nahser said if the road expands, she may have to leave.

"I don't know if I can stay. I really don't. Five lanes and a horse barn?" she said.

The Will County Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at their meeting Thursday morning. If it is approved, construction would begin in 2026 and could be completed by 2028.