Project Leaders Seek Input on Ridge Road Improvements
The Kendall County Highway Department on Monday held an open house to start a phase one study for improvements to Ridge Road, from Holt Road to Black Road.
The corridor spans from Minooka to Joliet and is approximately 4.5 miles wide. It features a mix of residential and agricultural land uses with a few businesses set up along the way as well.
Project leaders anticipate infrastructure upgrades are necessary to keep up with the future daily traffic count of 20,500 vehicles per day that’s projected in 2050, when combined with the existing two-lane Ridge Road with a current daily traffic count of 11,300 vehicles per day.
Kendall County engineer Francis Klaas explained what factors may be contributing to the need for improvements.
“There are not a lot of north-south corridors in Kendall County,” Klaas said. “As growth moves from the Chicago area westerly, we think this is going to be an important corridor. And historically, if you look at the traffic numbers for Ridge Road over the last 20, 30, 40 years, it has grown exponentially. So, we think that pattern is going to continue. So, we’re certain this will need to go to a four-lane facility and probably pretty soon."
Among the areas of need identified by project leaders is an effort to promote safety along the corridor.
Kendall County has reported at least 20 accidents per year within the two-lane segment of Ridge Road, according to county data.
Klaas says improvements to Ridge Road would aim, in part, to address safety concerns.
“Many of those accidents are rear-end type accidents at Route 52,” Klaas said. “That’s a four-way stop right now. That intersection will be signalized. And this improvement, if it’s built taking it to four lanes, should help the rear-end type accidents significantly. And the signalization should help significantly as well. Plus, the lanes will be wider. The shoulders will be wider. Everything about the facility would likely improve safety. So, we think it’ll help improve those numbers.”
Another area of need identified by project leaders is a lack of continuity with four-lane sections of Ridge Road at the north and south ends of the study area.
Klaas says the county hadn’t been surprised by the input it had received at the open house.
“Almost everybody who came so far today has said, ‘we understand this road has to go to four lanes.’ So, that was encouraging because we agree. But the devil’s in the details. We’re going to have to look at all these residential properties to make sure we’re not really negatively impacting people in a severe way. So, we’re going to try to gather information to try to lessen the impacts for the people who live out there.”
The next public meeting is expected to be hosted in mid-2023.
Residents unable to attend yesterday’s open house can still submit comments to project leaders. Those interested are advised to send an email to email@example.com.