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IDOT TO ACCELERATE 159TH STREET ROAD CONSTRUCTION
The Illinois Department of Transportation has approved acceleration for the 159th Street improvement project in Homer Glen, according to Illinois Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn. Paving will start early this spring. IDOT is expediting the Homer Glen project to substantially complete the new four-lane configuration by the end of calendar year 2018. There will be additional work items that will need to be completed in 2019 such as landscaping.
Most recently, the Village of Homer Glen was under advisement that the 159th Street project was on a trajectory that could take an additional year with substantial completion not anticipated until the end of 2019. Mayor Yukich and the Chair of the Village’s Community & Economic Development Committee, Village Trustee Brian Burian, reached out to State Representative Jim Durkin and Senator John Curran regarding the concern over the impact to the community and especially the 159th Street businesses with another year of project delay. Representative Durkin and Senator Curran worked together to communicate the local concern to IDOT to facilitate getting the road project back on track. “On behalf of our 159th Street businesses and Homer Glen residents, I extend our great appreciation to Rep. Jim Durkin and Sen. John Curran for their facilitation,” said Mayor George Yukich, “Road improvements are never easy on the community. We have been greatly concerned for the business impacts especially from an increasingly protracted time frame on the road project. We are grateful for the mediation on our behalf by our state elected officials.” Mayor Yukich also thanks Homer Glen residents for their cooperation during road construction and encourages the community to go out of their way to support local business owners.
The $105 million state project contracted in 2015 will transform 159th Street in Homer Glen into a four-lane highway connecting with the existing interchange at Interstate 355. The improved road is expected to be an economic engine for the Village of Homer Glen. The original timeframe for substantial completion of the road improvement was the end of 2017. Not uncommon on projects of this scope, there have been a number of unforeseen delays including utilities relocations, the discovery of additional unsuitable soils during excavation, state budget issues last summer and weather.
The Village of Homer Glen has been proactive to assist business needs throughout the IDOT project via a designated staff liaison, construction updates via eblasts and the Village website, sponsored IDOT briefings for 159th Street business owners held at Village Hall and a special signage initiative that added yellow signs with the names of businesses adjacent to IDOT-installed green signs at business driveway entrances. Merchants know to call the Village for timely assistance in regard to any unexpected issues during road construction.