Discussions will continue Wednesday in Bartlett regarding the Illinois Department of Transportation's plans to improve the Route 59 interchange at Route 20, a proposal that's drawn criticism from some nearby residents.
The public is invited to view updates and make comments on the project from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bartlett Hills Golf Club, 800 W. Oneida Ave. IDOT representatives will present an alternative plan, review the planning process to date, provide updates on the project status and take comments from the public.
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According to a presentation given at an IDOT meeting June 27, the project includes new exits from eastbound U.S. 20 to northbound Route 59, westbound U.S. 20 to northbound Route 59, and northbound Route 59 to eastbound U.S. 20. There are also plans for dual left-turn lanes at both ramp junctions on U.S. 20 and adding improved weave and merge distance on westbound Route 20 and Monarch/Horizon Drive.
The purpose of the project, according to the presentation, is to reduce traffic congestion, enhance safety, improve residential, commercial and institutional access, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access.
About 250 affected residents of the Southwicke on Sutton Condominium Association -- on the northwest corner of Route 59 and U.S. 20 in Streamwood -- are keeping a close eye on the project.
"Route 59 is obviously a major artery. More and more traffic is being directed on that road," association President Marcus Szymanoski said. "We understand traffic flow is going to increase. We're OK with that.
"We just want to make sure whatever they do doesn't negatively impact our neighborhood."
Szymanoski said an alternative plan proposed by IDOT in an effort to address comments from residents of Southwicke on Sutton and Bartlett's Walnut Hills subdivision hasn't lessened safety concerns.
The alternative plan includes a widened median north of the interchange, an added buffer zone between the left-turn lane and through traffic on Route 59 at Southwicke/Red Oak Drive, and optional U-turn movement for vehicles exiting Walnut Hills or Southwicke on Sutton, among other features.
But residents hope for a traffic signal at the intersection of Route 59 and Southwicke/Red Oak Drive to help them make turns out of their neighborhoods.
"It's a very, very dangerous situation," Szymanoski said, noting that vehicles go fast along Route 59. "I'm surprised no one has died there yet."
An IDOT representative could not be immediately reached for comment. According to a document from the June 27 meeting, IDOT hopes to have design approval for the project by the end of August.