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Why wasn't the I-355 extension to I-57 more seriously considered?

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edwaleni:

--- Quote from: Rick Powell on July 24, 2021, 04:54:22 PM ---
--- Quote from: edwaleni on July 23, 2021, 04:24:18 PM ---If anything gets built in Illinois uncertain & broke future, it would be a connector from I-80 in Morris and cross I-55 and I-57 and end somewhere near the future airport. And it will be a toll road.

--- End quote ---
The Houbolt Road toll bridge over the Des Plaines River is under construction. I-80 widening through Joliet is under design, with some pieces under construction. And a new interchange at I-57 near the South Suburban Airport appears lined up for a federal earmark in the upcoming infrastructure bill. Those are the tangible new/expansion projects I see in the area.

--- End quote ---

Yes, the Houbolt Road/Hollywood Road bridge will help with trucks reaching the Elwood Industrial Park without having to use IL-53 and the congestion it causes with the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.  Hopefully it will also improve truck access for both UP Global IV and BNSF Logistics Park. Elwood Industrial Road already has a multilane bridge over the tracks between UP Gloval IV and BNSF Chillicothe Sub.

This bridge and upgraded exit, when complete, will most definitely take the pressure off of the I-80/IL-53 exit. There are only 3 non-interstate bridges from Wilmington (on the Kankakee River) all the way to Joliet (on the Des Plaines). IL-53 & Will Road in Wilmington and Brandon Road in Joliet.

But long term they need a full interstate type ROW from Ridgecrest, across the Illinois, through the old Dresden coal plant property and just south of the BNSF facility through the former Arsenal to I-57 @ Peotone.

Crash_It:

--- Quote from: edwaleni on July 23, 2021, 04:24:18 PM ---I remember when ISTHA designed the I-355 Extension to I-80.

It had very few exits and a beautifully designed bridge over the Des Plaines River.

After all that is what the locals wanted, no traffic from the tollway in their neighborhoods so ISTHA complied.

Then the politicians got involved. Ramps were suddenly put back in and the county had to help pay for them.

ISTHA took away that suspension bridge and had it rebid as a design build. Now you have the ugliest pre-stressed concrete bridge with absolutely no aesthetic value whatsoever.

Basically a low bid design that is 100% functional, but is 100% forgettable.

As for going farther, that proposal was to please some Will County politicos but it never went anywhere.

If anything gets built in Illinois uncertain & broke future, it would be a connector from I-80 in Morris and cross I-55 and I-57 and end somewhere near the future airport. And it will be a toll road.

--- End quote ---


It's not forgettable. It's one of the highest bridges over a body of water ever built. Not to mention that some of the off ramp bridges in that area are some of the funnest ever. That's some amazing engineering if you ask me. Pretty hilly around there too.

Henry:
They should be satisfied that I-355 was built to I-80 in the first place, Illiana or not.

Rick Powell:

--- Quote from: Henry on July 27, 2021, 10:22:20 AM ---They should be satisfied that I-355 was built to I-80 in the first place, Illiana or not.

--- End quote ---
It was a fascinating project. I got a tour of it a week or 2 before it opened from one of the engineering companies on the project. Along with the I-57 new connections to I-294, this project helped to open up an economically depressed area of the south suburbs to the more lucrative job markets in Will, DuPage, Kane and NW Cook counties.

edwaleni:

--- Quote from: Rick Powell on July 27, 2021, 03:01:06 PM ---
--- Quote from: Henry on July 27, 2021, 10:22:20 AM ---They should be satisfied that I-355 was built to I-80 in the first place, Illiana or not.

--- End quote ---
It was a fascinating project. I got a tour of it a week or 2 before it opened from one of the engineering companies on the project. Along with the I-57 new connections to I-294, this project helped to open up an economically depressed area of the south suburbs to the more lucrative job markets in Will, DuPage, Kane and NW Cook counties.

--- End quote ---

I haven't seen any post build economic studies on the route, but the logistics/warehouse boom they expected along the route didn't really materialize. I can probably count them on both hands. Most of it was built in Bolingbrook along I-55 instead.

While not scientific by any means people I know in New Lenox, Mokena, Manhattan get more benefit from the Metra route than they did commuting on I-355.

But it did remove a boat load of north south traffic on US-45.

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