Two Route 53 intersections are in line for improvements over the next two years, upgrades seen as important for traffic relief on the increasingly busy highway.
The Joliet City Council last week approved a resolution to pursue a state Economic Development Grant that would fund two new turn lanes at Route 53 and Laraway Road.
A grant previously was issued for traffic lights and other improvements at the intersection of Route 53 and Emerald Drive.
Both projects will be done without the state grant for Laraway Road, Public Works Director James Trizna said. The developers of Laraway Crossings Business Park, which will benefit from the improvements, will cover costs not paid by the state, he said.
Timing could depend on how long it takes to meet state engineering requirements and other factors associated with the grants.
“When you get grant money, it’s great to have, but it slows up the project,” Trizna said.
The Emerald Drive project could be done later this year and the Laraway Road project in 2020, he said.
Both roads are used by workers and truckers at Laraway Crossings Business Park, home to two Amazon fulfillment centers, an IKEA warehouse and Cadence Premier Logistics.
Emerald Drive, which has no traffic light now, also is the site of a future Speedway truck stop.
The Laraway project, estimated at $1.1 million, will include an additional right-turn lane on Route 53 northbound and an additional right-turn lane on Laraway Road westbound.