By Laura Katauskas
Plans, though in their infant stages, are underway to make major enhancements to the Route 53 corridor.
A long-term goal for the village of Romeoville, seeing it as a main entrance into the village, improving Route 53 is a continuous project. The village has already worked to beautify the area by adding landscaping islands.
The next step, said Assistant Village Manager Dawn Caldwell, was to look to different areas of the corridor to make improvements. In doing so, they found a great partner in Lewis University, said Caldwell. The village and Lewis University will be working together for the mutual benefit of sprucing up the area near the university, along Route 53, roughly between Airport Road and Renwick Road, to be renamed Flyers Corridor.
Currently, the village has entered into an agreement with Hitchcock Design for them to provide a schematic design for the area. Lewis will reimburse the village for this part of the study.
Caldwell said this phase will allow the village to obtain a better idea of what the total cost will be and will begin to iron out issues with ComEd to bury overhead utility lines from Airport Road to the Fitzpatrick House and other such issues that may arise.
“For many visitors coming from the east, this section of Route 53 is their first impression of Romeoville,” said Mayor John Noak. “We’d like to make the best first impression possible. We’re thrilled that Lewis University shares in our vision and will be partnering with us to make it a reality.”
The plan, which is expected to greatly improve Route 53, includes landscaped medians, decorative walls, and decorative streetlights with banners.
Once the Schematic Design Phase is complete, the plan will become the basis for the business agreement between the village and Lewis University; the road map for final design, engineering and construction of the first, and future, phases of work.
The design group will be coming back to the board numerous times before any decisions are made and final execution is still years away with a projected date of 2019.