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updated: 8/22/2014 5:32 AM

IDOT finshing plans to widen Route 59 at Stearns Road in Bartlett

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  • IDOT is planning to widen the intersection of Route 59 and Stearns Road in Bartlett to ease congestion.

      IDOT is planning to widen the intersection of Route 59 and Stearns Road in Bartlett to ease congestion.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer


State engineers are in the homestretch of planning a yearlong project to widen Route 59 at Stearns Road in Bartlett.

Considered a high priority for the Illinois Department of Transportation, the project is designed to unclog traffic delays around the two arteries and improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians.

A study of the busy intersection found rear-end collisions are the most common type of crash, a signal that the roadways are over capacity, engineers say.

The village-hired traffic consultant, Brent Coulter, told Bartlett trustees this week homeowners in the Braintree subdivision also should benefit.

Residents have long complained about traffic-weary drivers cutting through their neighborhood to avoid the intersection. Drivers traveling south on Route 59 can take Norwood and Braintree lanes to reach east Stearns Road.

"Is it going to be the salvation for that neighborhood? Probably not," Coulter said. "But will it have a substantial potential to help alleviate traffic cutting through on Braintree? In my opinion, yes, especially as it relates to avoiding the intersection of Route 59 and Stearns Road."

Village officials who took a closer look at the designs echoed concerns from a representative of the Brewster Creek shopping center that the redesigned intersection would make it more difficult for customers to access commercial businesses.

Mayor Kevin Wallace said access already is an issue.

"That's difficult," Wallace said. "Anybody that runs a business now, the easier you can get in, especially a quick stop in-, grab a gallon of milk-type business, if you have to go around the block, it's tricky."

The village expects IDOT to begin the project during the next construction season.

Once crews finish the work, the intersection will have dual left-turn lanes on each leg, updated traffic signals and new bike and pedestrian paths.

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