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County Doubles Funding to Make Intersection Safer

By at March 14, 2013 | 10:54 pm | Print

County Doubles Funding to Make Intersection Safer
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced the County has doubled its funding to make an Oak Lawn intersection safer for motorists and children crossing from nearby schools.

 The County will pick up the entire $1.6 million in construction costs to widen Central Avenue at Southwest Highway and add left turn lanes at the intersection. A previous agreement split the cost 50/50 between Oak Lawn and the County. But due to the Village’s fiscal constraints and a strong desire to move the project forward because of serious safety concerns, the County will pick up the construction cost. The Village of Oak Lawn will purchase the property required to widen Central Avenue at the intersection.

“The County decided to step up its commitment because the project would have been delayed for years without adequate funding,” President Preckwinkle said. “Commissioner John Daley persuaded the County Board to increase funding because he was concerned for the safety of people walking and driving through the intersection. We agreed that keeping our children safe and preventing more accidents was a priority for the County.”

“Working together with the community and with St. Gerald Parish, I am pleased to support this project to bring needed safety improvements to the surrounding neighborhood,” Commissioner John Daley said.

John Yonan, Superintendent of the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways, said that accident data for the intersection supported adding a left turn lane. More than 100 crashes have occurred at the intersection between 2005 and 2011. The installation of left turn lanes is expected to reduce the number of sideswipe and turning accidents. St. Gerald Parish and School are located on the southeast corner of Central Avenue, which is under County jurisdiction. The intersection is also along a PACE bus route that serves Queen of Peace High School and St. Lawrence High School.

 “The Village of Oak Lawn thanks Cook County and especially Commissioner Daley and Superintendent Yonan for taking the lead on this important public safety project in our community,” Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen said. “This partnership illustrates how various government units working together can solve problems.”

As part of the project, the existing traffic signal at the intersection will be modernized with new equipment, including LED signals and a pedestrian countdown signal.


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Agencies Highways President's Office , , ,

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One Comment

  1. Krista Wilkinson, 1 year ago

    What about the intersection of Southwest Highway and Cicero Avenue, just a mile down? 10 months ago my daughter was KILLED on her way to school crossing this NINE LANE roadway that is the only one for miles with NO WALK BUTTON ( which is FOURTY YEAR OLD TECHNOLOGY) even though it is 2 blocks from a school zone, a regular ambulance crossing, close to train tracks and bus stops. Oak Lawn passed a resolution to improve the intersection in Aug. of 2012, but has NOT EVEN REPAINTED THE CROSSWALK LINES ( whivh were barely visible then and even less so now) This intersection has TWICE the accidents of SW HWY and Central and undoubtedly more traffic but IDOT says NOTHING WILL EVEN BE STARTED until 36-42 months (from 9/2012).

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