The city of Naperville on Wednesday hosted its third of three open houses for improvements to 248th Avenue, from 95th Street to 103rd Street.
The meeting, held at the 95th Street Library, gave project leaders the chance to present information on the proposed roadway improvements and get community feedback. Changes would include widening the street to two lanes in each direction, adding new right of ways and sidewalk, and improving a shared-use path.
According to Civiltech Engineering Project Manager Jim Tibble, “The project started off looking at the existing conditions. The roadway right now is coming into disrepair. There’s a lack of facilities out there for pedestrians. There’s gaps in the bike path. We started taking a look at this corridor and seeing what could be done with it.”
Community Concerns Detailed
The current plans prompted questions from neighboring residents.
According to Tibble, “A lot of the residents are concerned about the traffic coming through here. They’re concerned about the traffic volume out there now. They’re just curious about what’s going to happen with the roadway. A lot of them are bikers and walkers. They use the Tallgrass Greenway Trail. They are curious of know what’s going to happen at that crossing. They want it to be safe for pedestrians.”
Some take issue with the project, in part, because of future development planned for the area. The Islamic Center of Naperville’s new mosque complex has some worried that traffic and safety issues could be exacerbated by the roadway improvements once the buildout begins.
According to Naperville resident Tom Kelly, “Traffic flow has always been a concern, even before this project. The speeds in the area will obviously be going up now that you’re increasing the size of the throughway.”
Community Concerns Addressed
Tibble explains how they tried to address traffic and safety concerns. “We had a couple different public information meetings earlier. The first one we had we showed them the existing conditions, and we just wanted to talk to the residents to see what they thought about the corridor and get their opinions on everything. After that meeting, the engineers—we put together a couple different alternatives to address the purpose and need of the project and to address what the residents were seeing out there.”
Some of the alternatives involved proposing a shared-use path on both sides of the road, having the sidewalk on one side of the street and creating different alignments to the road.
The project is on pace to get started in 2024. Project leaders say additional notification will be released to the public before the buildout begins.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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