ELWOOD, Ill. — Residents in Elwood are fighting for safer roads after they say increased truck traffic is causing roads to be dangerous, sometimes deadly.
Last year, more than 900 crashes involving trucks in Will County killed 20 people and injured 156.
Residents blame truck traffic on the “Largest Inland Port in North America” — where trucks connect with railroad containers and then deliver goods across the country — that lies on 6500 acres south of I-80.
The village of Elwood is now launching a new safety campaign, “Safe Roads Illinois” as a countermeasure.
They say the roads were made for rural, not large industrial commercial truck traffic.
Below are some of the major projects IDOT has undertaken in recent years in Will County. It says its continuing to work with the county to improve safety in the area:
- I-80 widening from U.S. 45 to U.S. 30
- Widening and reconstruction of Illinois 59 through Joliet, Shorewood, Plainfield, as well as U.S. 30 through New Lenox, Frankfort and Mokena.
- New Arsenal Road interchange at I55 to specifically handle truck traffic accessing the CenterPoint intermodal facility in Elwood.
- Assuming jurisdiction of Arsenal Road from Will County Highway Department after the closing of the Walter Strawn Drive railroad crossing in Elwood, to better accommodate truck flow to the CenterPoint facilities and divert from Elwood.
- Initiated study this fall, seeking public input on future needs to Illinois 53 corridor south of I-80.
- Cable guardrail on I-57, I80, and I55
- I-55 add lanes from I-80 to Weber Road
- I-57 and Stunkel Interchange