frequently asked questions
Why are you doing this project?
The traffic volumes along Laraway Road are already at a level where there is congestion at certain times of the day. Based on the previous and anticipated growth in population and employment in Will County, continued growth in traffic volumes along Laraway Road is expected. Higher traffic volumes typically result in a higher incidence of crashes. To address these traffic and safety issues, the WCDOT has programmed work on Laraway Road in both the 5-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and as part of the fiscally constrained project list in our 2040 Plan.
What is the scope of work for this project?
The proposed improvement of Laraway Road from Cedar Road to LaGrange Road includes complete reconstruction of the roadway to provide an additional through lane in each direction. The result, a four-lane roadway with two through lanes in each direction separated by a curbed grass median. The median will be wide enough to allow for left turn lanes at intersections. Improvements at intersections along Laraway Road, such as providing additional through and auxiliary turn lanes, will be provided in order to accommodate traffic safely and efficiently.
How will this project improve safety?
Currently, there are times during the day when traffic lines up single file on Laraway Road for long stretches. This makes getting into or out of your subdivision or other locations difficult. These long stretches of cars, whether caused by the sheer number of cars or a turning vehicle, present the increased potential for crashes. This project, by organizing traffic and providing an additional through lane in each direction will help to create a safer road to travel. This will include more and longer gaps for vehicles making left turns, providing turn lanes where appropriate, to remove the stopped vehicles from traffic, and therefore preventing potentially hazardous driving maneuvers.
With the barrier median, how will I access my property?
Openings within the proposed curbed median will be provided at major intersections consistent with Will County’s barrier median policy. However, some smaller sideroads and all driveways will be restricted to right-in/right-out only access. U-turn maneuvers will be allowed at the median openings to facilitate full access for all properties along the corridor.
Are U-turns a safe option on Laraway Road?
At intersection locations where sufficient width is provided, U-turns may be completed legally and safely. At locations where there is insufficient width, signage will be provided prohibiting U-turns.
Will there be any new traffic signals added as part of this project?
Traffic signal warrants were reviewed for the major intersections along the corridor as part of our studies. Based on this analysis, a new traffic signal is proposed at Heritage Lane, which is just west of LaGrange Road.
Is any proposed right-of-way (ROW) needed for this project?
Yes, proposed ROW is needed along both sides of the road to accommodate the proposed improvements. In general, a 150 foot wide ROW corridor is typical of designated Will County freeways, such as Laraway Road. In some areas, more ROW is needed depending on the exact alignment and profile of the road or drainage needs. Some additional ROW is also needed at the cross roads where intersection improvements are proposed.
What will be done about the high levels of traffic noise?
A traffic noise study has been prepared as part of the preliminary engineering and environmental study. Existing noise measurements have been taken along the corridor and a computer model was prepared to estimate noise levels at sensitive receptors (including residential properties) with the future traffic and roadway configuration. In any areas where the future noise levels are predicted to be at or higher than federal noise abatement criteria, noise abatement measures, such as noise walls, will be considered. Based on the results of the study, two noise walls have the potential to be included in the project. One is located along the north side of Laraway Road just east of Spencer Road and the other is located along the north side of Laraway Road just west of Wolf Road. Community viewpoints of the benefitted receptors of these walls will be solicited before it is decided if they will be included as part of this project.
When will this project be built?
Currently, only a portion of this project is funded in Will County’s multi-year highway improvement plan. The west section from Cedar Road to Calistoga Drive is targeted for construction in 2025 and the east end at LaGrange Road is targeted for construction in 2026, pending fund availability and project readiness. The WCDOT will continue working to secure the funds necessary to complete the remainder of these needed improvements.