JBT-WeberThe Weber Road interchange running through Will and DuPage counties is known by residents and commuters as one of the most heavily congested areas in all of Chicagoland. 

Legislation, sponsored by Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in the Senate and Representative Natalie Manley in the House, signed into law by the governor on Monday will remove one of the final obstacles holding back the Interstate 55 and Weber Road interchange construction project that is intended to ease traffic.

A law passed 7 years ago designated 200 acres of land in Crest Hill as surplus state property and reallocated it for sale. The proceeds of the sale (estimated in 2007 to bring as much as $30 million) were to be used to help pay for improvements to the Weber Road and Interstate 55 interchange. Unfortunately, the land remains unsold today and because the law identified the land sale as the funding source for future construction, the road project could not begin without that revenue stream.

Monday’s gubernatorial signage of SB1219 will allow IDOT to move forward with the I-55/ Weber Road interchange project despite the land still being unsold.

“I am grateful that the governor understands the importance of this construction project and our need to move forward, independent of whether the land is ever purchased,” Senator Bertino-Tarrant said.

Will County officials estimate an average of 31,700 vehicles travel on Weber north of the interchange each day and 31,000 travel south of it. The Illinois Department of Transportation estimates that an average of 107,800 vehicles travel each day on Interstate 55 south of the interchange and 133,700 travel north toward the entrance of Interstate 355.

“Will County is one of the fastest growing areas in the entire nation,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative that this roadway can handle our increased traffic and that residents and commuters are able to travel safely. This road project will accomplish that.”

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