Walter Strawn Hearing Request Withdrawn, Work on Long-Term Solutions Continues
CHICAGO –-(ENEWSPF)–July 29, 2015. To maintain the strong economic growth in a thriving area of the state, Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn announced today that the Illinois Department of Transportation is negotiating to assume jurisdiction of Arsenal Road from Will County and is no longer asking for additional Illinois Commerce Commission hearings on the Walter Strawn Drive closure in Elwood.
“The magnitude of the Walter Strawn Drive closure demanded a thorough look at the facts,” Blankenhorn said. “After working with local stakeholders and examining all of the issues involved, this decision allows everyone to move forward on developing long-term transportation solutions for the area.”
The planned jurisdictional transfer of Arsenal Road between Interstate 55 and Baseline Road will allow IDOT to make permanent upgrades to accommodate heavy truck traffic in and out of the area’s intermodal facilities. Will County has been permitting overweight trucks that meet state standards to use Arsenal Road on a temporary basis since Walter Strawn Drive closed over the Union Pacific Railroad in January.
In exchange for the state taking over Arsenal Road, Will County will accept ownership and future maintenance responsibilities of some secondary state routes as part of the ongoing negotiations between IDOT and the county.
Included in today’s filing with the ICC withdrawing its application for an additional hearing on the Walter Strawn Drive closure, IDOT released the recent results of a traffic impact study showing the impacts the closure has had on surrounding roads.
“Safety is always our top priority,” Blankenhorn said. “We will continue working with local leaders to make choices that also promote economic development and enhance the quality of life for residents.”