Transportation Policy Analyst Stunned At Number of Fatal Crashes On I-80

I-80 Crash photo/Diane Devries Alpha Media

The town hall meeting for Residents United for Safer Highways will feature an in depth study of traffic patterns that have led to fatal crashes. The community meeting is being held this Thursday, January 11th at the University of St. Francis at 6 p.m. All are welcome. Mary Craighead Transportation Policy Analyst at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute will unveil her study that looks at I-80 over the last 17 years. Craighead tells the Scott Slocum show that she looked at the design of I-80, the functionality including bridges and how the design impacts safety. She says if the roads aren’t functioning adequately now then how will they function in the future with increased truck traffic and population growth.

Craighead was stunned by the number of fatal crashes long I-80 through Will County. Craighead says engineers in the 1960’s weren’t envisioning the amount of traffic on the roads plus freight traffic has grown so much over the years. A lack of funding statewide and federally for infrastructure has added to the problem.

To hear more on this study attend the RUSH meeting this Thursday at the University of St. Francis at 6 p.m. WJOL’s Scott Slocum will moderate the town hall meeting which will include remarks from local politicians as well as Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary, Randy Blankenhorn.

The major topics of conversation will be the widening of I-80 from Rt. 30 in New Lenox to River Road in Minooka, replacing aging bridges over the Des Plaines River on I-80 and I-55 and the funding of area Interstate and infrastructure improvements. The community town hall will be Thursday, January 11th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Moser Performing Arts Center at the University of St. Francis, 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet. Seating is limited and the doors open at 5:30 p.m.

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