WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. — A noisy problem is building in Western Springs.

John and Alex Rimmele bought their family’s home over 25 years ago. Outside, just 20 feet away, stands a noise wall, and then the Tri-State Tollway.

Their home — a three-story tree house — has been dubbed by friends and family as the ‘Rimmele Resort.’

“Everybody knows that’s the Rimmele treehouse,” Alex Rimmele said. “They can see it, they can wave from the expressway.”

After years of meeting with the village of Western Springs and the tollway about the construction project, the Rimmeles just found out the construction project on the tollway is happening whether they like it or not.

“We had a meeting with them maybe April, May of this year,” Alex Rimmele said. “We’re really concerned about where the placement of the wall is going to be and that they’re going to put up a taller wall that is going to go all around our property- essentially blocking the horizon from our house.”

The removal and construction of a newer, taller wall is all a part of the Central Tri-State Tollway construction project.

In a statement, the tollway said in part, “The Tollway has both delayed the removal of the existing wall, and expedited the construction of the replacement wall to minimize the duration of time homeowners are without the walls. The new noisewall is expected to be completed by the end of the year, so it will be in place to reduce construction noise when mainline work on the I-294 project begins late this year.”

Moving forward, the Rimmele’s would just like to see better communication and for the project to not damage the foundation of their house.

The Illinois Tollway’s full statement is below.

“In all instances, the Tollway works to maximize the benefit of noise walls to all area residents, and homeowners typically request noisewalls to reduce traffic noise.

In this area, the Tollway has worked extensively with this neighborhood since 2017 to address concerns regarding the agency’s $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) reconstruction project.  

The replacement noisewall in this area will be constructed in the exact same location at a height consistent with the existing wall. but will no longer taper down at the end, which will provide the maximum reduction of vehicle noise to residents living not just in the homes bordering Tollway property, but also to their neighbors in that area. In addition, the Tollway has both delayed the removal of the existing wall, and expedited the construction of the replacement wall to minimize the duration of time homeowners are without the walls.

The new noisewall is expected to be completed by the end of the year, so it will be in place to reduce construction noise when mainline work on the I-294 project begins late this year.  In addition, as part of the I-294 reconstruction, the ramp from northbound I-294 to eastbound Ogden Avenue will be reconfigured and moved more than 30 feet away from its current position, which also will benefit neighborhood residents.