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Local Officials want Mountable Medians on 159th

MEDIA RELEASE
April 26, 2013

For more information, contact:
Will County Board Member Steve Balich
815-557-7196

LOCAL LEADERS DISCUSS MEDIANS PROPOSED FOR 159th STREET WITH STATE’S SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION

HOMER GLEN – A group of Will County officials who are worried about the size and length of the medians proposed for 159th Street went to Springfield on April 19 to speak with Secretary of Transportation Ann Schneider.
Will County Board members Steve Balich and Mike Fricilone, Homer Glen Trustees George Yukich and Mike Costa, and Homer Township Supervisor Pam Meyers made the trip with State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). They were accompanied by Bob Schmidt, the owner of Homer Glen’s Wheel Go Camping and a representative of the Business Area Group of 159th, a merchants association.
They are concerned about the state’s plans to improve a seven-mile stretch of 159th Street between Interstate 355 and Will-Cook Road. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s project includes medians that cannot be crossed by vehicles.
“The raised medians are a safety hazard according to our emergency management authorities and fire districts. If they are installed, fire trucks will not be able to make U-turns on 159th Street, and emergency response time will be increased,” Balich said. “Local business owners also are concerned about how the medians will affect their livelihoods. The barriers will make it difficult for customers to access their businesses, and they might take their money and spend it in Orland Park instead.”
Omer Osman, the state’s Director of the Division of Highways and IDOT’s Chief Engineer, also attended the 40-minute meeting. At the conclusion, Schneider said she would direct IDOT to take a second look at the situation. She also told the group that she would contact them in two weeks.
“I would like to thank Senator Radogno and Representative Durkin for standing with our community,” Balich said.

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