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Local News

Will County seeks public opinion for long-range transportation plan

Public encouraged to attend upcoming open house events

JOLIET – Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. said he hopes to see a strong turnout at upcoming open houses that will gauge public opinion about county officials’ plan to shape the region’s long-range transportation plan.

It’s impossible to plan without the community’s input, Walsh Sr. said.

“We create these events for people to have their say. If they are adamant about something, they need to tell us. If you don’t want to see Peotone-Wilmington Road turned into a four-lane county highway, then that needs to be said,” Walsh Sr. said. “If you think there needs to be more trains on the Heritage Corridor line through Lockport, then we need to hear that.”

Dubbed Will Connects 2040, the long-range plan is all about linking transportation with economic development and jobs while also supporting road infrastructure needs and quality of life. Bicycle paths, public transportation and the roadway system will be the focus.

Walsh Sr. urged residents, business owners, bicyclists and transit users to attend one or each of the five open houses hosted by the county’s transportation division.

Interactive stations will be available for the public to weigh in.

“We want to know what people are thinking. We want everybody to come out and give their testimony, thoughts and ideas,” Walsh Sr. said.

Will County is going through a transition period, with booming intermodals and residential population growth, he said. And that poses serious challenges, he said, noting the dynamic of passenger cars with semitrailers.

Online survey

Walsh urged those who can’t attend to fill out an online transportation survey launched last week, which serves as a follow-up to the survey completed last year. The survey is accessible through the project website at www.WillConnects2040.org.

The new survey asks participants to rank transportation projects. Another section asks participants if they believe the county needs a new revenue source for transportation and whether the county’s RTA funds should be dedicated for transportation.

The survey also asks whether roadways and bridges should be tolled and whether the county should bond out to pay for transportation projects.

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IF YOU GO

The public is invited to attend the following Will Connects 2040 Open Houses:

• 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Road, Concourse C* 1031, Joliet

• 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Wilmington City Hall, Council Chambers, 1165 S. Water St., Wilmington

• 4 to 7 p.m., Jan. 26, Governors State University, Engbretson Hall, One University Parkway, University Park

• 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 27, Romeoville Village Hall, Board Room, 1050 W. Romeo Road, Romeoville

• 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 28, New Lenox Village Hall, Community Room, One Veterans Parkway, New Lenox

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