Living near 95th Street and Plainfield/Naperville Road has become a noisy, dusty experience for several Naperville residents.
Those who live on Rolling Meadows Drive at the intersection's northwest corner, told the city council this week that a construction project that began in April is bringing the road closer to their homes and disrupting their lives.
The work adds double left-turn lanes in both directions of Plainfield/Naperville Road and dedicated right-turn lanes at the intersection's northeast and northwest corners. Its total cost is $6.5 million and it is expected to be complete by November.
"At my home, you are decreasing the property value because you are bringing the road closer to me," resident Doreen Swindall said. "I can't go out in my backyard. The exhaust fumes are horrible."
Swindall and six of her neighbors in the Brook Crossing Estates subdivision asked the city to construct a sound wall between their homes and the busy east-west thoroughfare. They said it's unfair that a sound wall is being constructed behind homes on the east side of the intersection, but not behind their properties on the west.
"I am concerned about the safety," resident Diane O'Connor said, "and now that you're bringing the road even closer, that's a bigger concern."
The project involves numerous agencies: spearheaded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, it also is funded by the Federal Highway Administration, Will County Division of Transportation, the city of Naperville and the village of Bolingbrook
The lack of a sound wall comes because of the presence of Brook Crossings Park, said Jeff Ronaldson, Will County engineer and director of transportation. The park sits at the northwest corner of 95th Street and Plainfield/Naperville Road, closer to the intersection than the residents' homes.
"The houses were set far enough away that they didn't meet the parameters for a noise wall," Ronaldson said.
Because the Federal Highway Administration determined that the project will not change the road's proximity to the houses enough to warrant consideration of noise protection, a sound study was not conducted.
But residents complained the project will make the road only about 14 feet away from their houses.
City council members were sympathetic to the residents' concerns, especially Benjamin White and Judith Brodhead, who also live near 95th Street. Brodhead said her house backs up to the road about a block west of the site in question.
"It is clearly much more of an imposition to be near 95th Street, both noise-wise and nuisance-wise," she said.
Bill Novack, Naperville's director of transportation, engineering and development, said the residents can appeal the Highway Administration's decision not to include a sound wall behind their properties. But it would be difficult to prove the need for such a structure without baseline measurements taken before the project began.