Shaw Media file photo
Shaw Media file photo

Plainfield is moving forward with a long-planned project to give relief to drivers who regularly face a long line of cars at the intersection of 127th Street and Plainfield-Naperville Road as Plainfield East High School students head to and from school.

Village Trustees on Monday night approved a $250,061 supplement to a contract with Lochner Engineering to continue engineering plans for the project that began in 2009 and has been dormant for a few years because of budget constraints.

“This project has been on the books for quite some time, and lately we’ve gotten a lot of interest to get this project reinitiated,” Superintendent of Public Improvements Randall Jessen said.

Currently, there is a four-way stop at the intersection. Plans for the estimated $2.4 million improvements include dedicated left-turn lanes at each leg of the intersection, a signal light and improved paths for pedestrians, Jessen said. Construction is expected to start in 2021.

The village has “verbal agreements” with Will County and Bolingbrook, which both have jurisdiction over one segment of the intersection, for cost-sharing for the project, Jessen said. Plainfield would be responsible for 45% of the project cost, with Bolingbrook and Will County taking on 23% and 32%, respectively.

Formal intergovernmental agreements are expected to come to the Village Board this month, he said. The village also has a $1.4 million grant from the Will County Governmental League.

For the $250,000 engineering supplement, Plainfield will pay $134,828.30, with Bolingbrook and Will County paying $64,392.97 and $50,839.71, respectively.

Separately, Mayor Mike Collins, Village Administrator Brian Murphy and Director of Public Works Allen Persons visited Washington, D.C., last week to meet with U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood and Bill Foster and U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin’s staff “to keep Plainfield on the map” and try to secure some federal grants, Collins said.

Murphy said that by Nov. 12, the village should hear about a $17 million federal grant for the planned $59 million extension of 143rd Street to Route 126. The one-mile extension – which includes a bridge over the DuPage River – is to help alleviate motorist and truck traffic to and from Interstate 55 on Route 126 and divert it from downtown Plainfield.

The village secured about $20 million in other federal funding for the project last year. An additional $4.5 million has been secured from the WCGL, according to plans for the project that were part of a public meeting in September.

The village has also requested an additional $7.65 million from the state. If all this funding is secured, the village’s cost is expected to be about $9 million.

The village is in Phase 1 of the project, which includes preliminary engineering and environmental studies. Construction is scheduled for 2022 and 2023.

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