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Plans change for Route 34 between Sandwich and Plano

Updated: January 25, 2014 6:02PM

SANDWICH — Mayor Rick Olson here said the system has worked in favor of his city this time — at least as far as improvements to Route 34 go.

Olson, along with Illinois Department of Transportation Engineer Paul Loete, announced Friday through a press release that the state has taken out the proposal for five lanes on Route 34 between Gletty Road here to Chilton Way in Plano.

The decision came after IDOT officials, in District 2, analyzed citizen comments at public hearings, and revised traffic projections for 2040.

“I can say with no hesitation that the process worked,” Olson said. “I can assure the citizens of Sandwich that your comments, concerns and requests have been heard, and future plans will be made with the utmost consideration as to the impact to our community.”

Expanding Route 34 to five lanes in that area — the fifth lane would have been a middle lane for left turns in either direction — was roundly criticized by a preponderance of citizens speaking at public meetings.

The five-lane proposal was developed as one possibility by IDOT, which has been looking at improvements to Route 34 between Sandwich and Plano since 2009, said Loete.

Loete said IDOT recently received revised traffic projections from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning, or CMAP, that show traffic projections for that section of Route 34 “will be significantly lower by 2040 than CMAP originally calculated.”

At a Dec. 10 town meeting, and a public hearing held earlier in November, a preponderance of people spoke against the five-lane idea. The IDOT press release said Friday that, basically, it’s back to the drawing board now.

“IDOT and the city of Sandwich agreed to take the five-lane proposal out of consideration and discuss other possible solutions to meet Route 34 traffic needs,” the release said.

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