Mayor says proposed Illiana interchange at Channahon ‘off the table’
By Jeanne Millsap Sun-Times Media
A Channahon interchange for the proposed Illiana Expressway is “off the table,” mayor Joe Cook said.
Cook told Channahon trustees the route known as A3S2, which would have brought the proposed expressway near Channahon, has been dropped. Cook said state Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), told him the Illinois Department of Transportation was no longer pushing the proposed western terminus of the expressway, which was proposed to begin at Bluff Road and Interstate 55 in Channahon.
A3S2 was one of three possible routes for the proposed expressway that would connect Interstate 55 with Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind. It was proposed to take the place of the existing Bluff Road interchange at the southern end of Channahon.
Mike Claffey, an IDOT spokesman, said in an email that the agency hosted a project working group meeting last Tuesday and announced another route as the preferred option. He said it’s “fair to say” the others are out.
The preferred route would start between Cedar Lake and Lowell in Indiana and end near Wilmington.
Channahon residents mounted a grassroots campaign opposing the A3S2 route, which could have resulted in some being forced to move from their homes. Up to 40 houses in the Fairhaven Heights and Rolling Acres subdivisions were likely at risk.
Cook said the Channahon route would have involved the greatest destruction of homes and would have closed off one of only two village access points to the interstate.
“There was a big community outreach,” Cook said, “and we believe we told the right story ... Working with a grassroots effort coupled with our strategy of reaching out to all the decision makers really paid off.
“I’m certainly pleased with IDOT’s decision to not recommend that corridor.”
Contributing: Joe Biesk