Montgomery backs effort to move Rt. 30 sound wall : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Montgomery backs effort to move Rt. 30 sound wall|
|Village, park district want wall on north side of Seasons Ridge trail |
|by John Etheredge|
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is proposing to install a concrete sound wall along the north side of U.S. Route 30 just east of Briarcliff Road.
IDOT will have contractors put up the 16 foot tall concrete panel wall as they widen Route 30 to five lanes between Briarcliff Road and Goodwin Drive beginning late this year or next year.
The sound wall will extend east from Briarcliff Road to the west property line of Grandview Place condominiums. It is intended to reduce traffic noise in the adjoining Seasons Ridge Subdivision.
But before IDOT awards a contract for the project later this summer, the Oswegoland Park District and Montgomery Village Board are asking the agency to revise its plans and change the location of the sound wall.
Peter Wallers, president of Engineering Enterprises, Inc., the village's' engineering consultants, told the village board last week that currently IDOT is proposing to install the wall between the highway and a park district owned bike trail. The bike trail-the first constructed by the park district-was installed in the late-1980s.
The park district, however, has asked IDOT to re-locate the wall from the south to the north side of the trail.
"The sound wall would be located on the north side of IDOT's property and that would make it possible for police and other motorists to view the bike trail from Route 30," Wallers said.
Unless the wall is re-located to the north side of the trail, Wallers said the village will "end up with an isolated corridor that could become prone to mischief."
When questioned by board member Pete Heinz, Mike Pubentz, the village's director of public works said, "If you put the wall where it is designed now (on the south side of the trail), you'll have the highway and then the wall and then the path and then the fence to the residents' backyards. We would end up with a corridor in there that is not really visible by anyone, including the police. It might become an area where people would hang out and cause mischief."
Pubentz said if IDOT agrees to change its plans and install the wall on the north side of the trail, those using the trail would be visible to thousands of passing motorists each day, including police.
Board member Matt Brolley said he and his family recently walked on the Season Ridge trail.
Since the park district supports relocating the wall to the north side of the trail, Brolley said he has no objections. He explained he believe park district officials are looking out for the safety of those who use the trail.
Brolley also noted the village is already coping with frequent graffiti damage on a retaining wall along an isolated trail section on the south side of Route 30 at the west bank of the Fox River.
"There is always graffiti and people hanging out there," he said. "I've been talking to Mike (Pubentz) about it for years."
Heinz expressed concern that relocating the wall to the north side of the trail would "put it on peoples' property" that adjoins the trail.
Wallers, however, said the wall would be placed on park district property, not on private property. The park district, he said, could grant an easement to IDOT to place the wall north of the trail.
Police Chief Daniel Meyers noted the park district first sent a letter to IDOT asking them to relocate the wall to the north side of the trail last January.
"It's a major concern for them and, therefore, police recommend that they move that sound barrier (wall) to the north side of the trail," Meyers said.
Board member Stan Bond said he supports asking IDOT to relocate the wall based on the recommendation of the police department.
"I would have to support that," Bond said.
With the exception of Heinz, board members agreed to support the park district's request to IDOT to change its plans.
When questioned by board member Andy Kaczmarek, Wallers said IDOT has yet to set a date for the start up of construction.
"We're not sure about that," Wallers said, "but we believe the earliest start would be late fall and I would say the bulk of construction would take place next (construction) season."
Pubentz said IDOT is expected to award a contract for the project at the end of August, which would permit some preliminary work to begin this fall.
Hot dog vendor
In other business during last week's meeting, board members approved a stationary food vendor license requested by Jeff and Raquel Thomas on behalf of Nate'z Dogz.
The Thomas' plan to operate their hot dog vending stand in the parking lot of Genesis Community Church at 1300 South Broadway Avenue, across from Austin Park.
In a memo to the board, Jamie Belongia, assistant village administrator, noted the Thomas' had "submitted all of the required documentation and met all of the ordinance criteria for allowing a stationary food vendor."