CHICAGO (CBS) — Families of accident victims, along with other drivers, gathered to share their frustrations about the condition of I-80 in Will County, claiming the road is dangerous and sometimes deadly. Now they want to know what IDOT plans to do about it.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports IDOT concedes there is a problem.
Joliet radio host Scott Slocum said he’s tired of talking about I-80 deaths, crashes, and road conditions so he organized a forum for concerned drivers to talk I-80 safety in Will County.
In David Gaydula’s case, about a chunk of concrete dislodged by a semi that smashed his windshield, permanently disabling his wife.
It happened two years before Melinda Cullen died after a semi’s dislodged brake drum slammed into her SUV. She was eight months pregnant at the time. It was also two years before Jim Brodnicki’s son Aaron Scofield died after a semi side-swiped and disabled his car and took off.
Brodnicki says cameras and inter-agency communication is needed on I-80.
“In a situation when there is a fatality happens, everybody needs to put their egos in their back pocket and politics aside and work together as a team,” he said.
An Illinois Economic Policy Institute study finds tracks made up a fifth of all I-80 traffic near Joliet, and the stretch from Ridge Road to Route 30 sees more crashes than others.
“We have too many deadly areas,” said Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, saying he understands the concern.
“We’ve got some investments that we’re going to make immediately and some more near term. Ultimately it’s a big project. We really have to come and do the right thing out here,” he said.
IDOT Transportation Secretary says some improvements will be underway in coming months, including lighted signs and says cameras are in future plans.