JOLIET – The Will County Board voted Thursday to extend what was a 90-day ordinance allowing for permitted overweight trucks on Arsenal Road – but not without reservations.
Existing roads will continue to suffer from the wear-and-tear of overweight trucks if a permanent solution isn’t found, said Will County Board Speaker Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort.
He and other board members called on representatives from the trucking and logistics industry, present for the public comment period, to step up and pitch ideas for road maintenance revenue.
“You cannot expect the taxpaying public, or I might say, permit fees, to maintain roads,” Moustis said. “I get the feeling, when I get calls from the industry, that somehow now you feel it’s a right or the norm to run overweight trucks. ... The industry needs to come up with different solutions.”
The Illinois Commerce Commission’s closure of the railway crossing at Walter Strawn Drive earlier this year erased a major entry point to the CenterPoint Intermodal Center parks in Joliet and Elwood.
Talks between Will County and IDOT are ongoing about the state taking over the county-owned Arsenal Road and streamlining the regional trucking permit system.
In the meantime, the county had no choice but to extend the weight limit another 60 days through July to keep commerce flowing, several county officials said.
Representatives from the trucking and logistics industry at the meeting seemed equally frustrated by the piecemeal approach, and called for a permanent solution.
“We’re grateful you gave us a lifeboat,” said Matt Szybowicz, general manager for Barr Freight System in Bolingbrook. “But the bottom line is our customers will not be patient. They can move [elsewhere]. ... They’re simply losing patience with the uncertainty.”