LOCKPORT – A short-term solution is being used to open Gougar Road between 147th and 151st streets in Lockport.
Lockport city officials announced Thursday in a news release the roadway should open Friday. Barricades north of Gougar Road and 147th Street will be moved to allow vehicles to travel from 151st Street to Lemont Road by taking 147th Street.
City officials said in the news release this is a short-term solution with the Will County Division of Transportation for the next several months to resolve the issues that caused the road to remain closed for nearly two years.
City Administrator Ben Benson said city officials also were thankful for Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. working with them on the issue.
The opening of Gougar Road has been tied up in a Will County condemnation lawsuit with several property owners in the area. On Nov. 20, the Will County Board authorized the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office to proceed with the condemnation case.
“[Will County] allowed us to come up with this temporary plan as the case plays out,” Benson said.
Nick Palmer, the county executive’s chief of staff, said the condemnation suit still is continuing. He said the county’s goal in the case is to keep the roads safe for all residents and businesses.
The long-term solution will be to install a split-phase signal at Gougar Road and 143rd Street and then remove all the barricades completely, city officials said in the release.
Lockport city officials closed Gougar Road and 147th Street in May 2014 to make way for road improvements. After the work was completed, the road remained closed to through traffic because of safety issues.
City officials wanted a traffic signal on 143rd Street at Gougar Road to keep the road safe, but Benson said last year property owners in the area were not cooperating in the acquisition of property needed to put a signal there.