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updated: 12/6/2018 6:25 PM

IDOT planning major redo of Roosevelt Road in Winfield, Wheaton

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A proposed widening of Roosevelt Road in Winfield could be years away, but the state project already is taking center stage at several forums.

The village's public works committee will meet in late January to hear from residents about a major redo of Roosevelt from Winfield Road to County Farm Road in Wheaton. That session follows an open house last month as the Illinois Department of Transporation wraps up a preliminary engineering and environmental study on the project.

Conceptual plans call for reconstructing Roosevelt with two lanes in each direction -- separated by a median -- on a stretch extending from east of Winfield Road to west of County Farm. A new 8-foot- wide bike path would run on the north side of Roosevelt.

That roadwork will connect two intersection projects at Winfield and County Farm. Collectively, all three projects will cost an estimated $12.5 million, IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said.

The redesign is meant to relieve congestion on the four-lane artery, reduce crashes and improve drainage around Winfield Creek. At Winfield Road, the project would provide dual left-turn lanes onto the west leg of Roosevelt. At County Farm, there would be a right-turn lane on the west leg and dual left-turn lanes on the east leg of Roosevelt.

The corridor carries roughly 28,600 vehicles a day at the County Farm intersection, according to 2017 data from IDOT. It's also one of the core areas that Winfield officials have sought to develop.

Construction of a Bucky's gas station on a vacant property at the southwest corner of Roosevelt and Winfield roads is slated to begin in the spring, Winfield Village President Erik Spande said. Site plans already take into account possible land acquisition that could be needed to accommodate the roadwork, he said.

IDOT's draft plans show the project would encroach on private property and the northern edge of Cantigny Park, beyond the existing right of way.

"We are pleased that there will be needed safety improvements made on Roosevelt Road," Cantigny Executive Director Matt LaFond said in a statement. "We understand there will be some land acquisition from Cantigny Park, but at this time have not been contacted to begin that process."

Spande said he, too, is pleased with the safety and traffic improvements. But he's inviting residents to share specific concerns at a public works committee meeting at village hall 7 p.m. Jan. 23. That feedback will inform a formal response to IDOT with a list of village recommendations.

One area of concern focuses on bypass traffic into neighborhoods, Spande said. Currently, there are signs posted prohibiting left turns onto country-style residential streets that "aren't designed for a lot of people taking shortcuts from an arterial like Roosevelt Road," Spande said.

At a segment of Winfield Creek under Roosevelt, IDOT has proposed replacing the double cell box culvert with a triple cell concrete culvert, raising concerns about the volume of floodwater flowing through the structure in major rain events.

As for a project timeline, the intersection improvements -- new traffic signals, crosswalks, ADA-compliant curb ramps -- are further along in the planning process. "Phase I" studies were completed in 2008 and 2011, respectively, Tridgell said in an email. IDOT is conducting contract plan preparation and land acquisition as part of the second phase.

The preliminary studies for the Roosevelt corridor roadwork will be completed early next year, Tridgell said. After that, a Phase II study typically takes place over the course of 18 to 24 months. Construction is expected to last between another 18 to 24 months, "pending plan readiness and funding availability," Tridgell said.