CHICAGO (CBS) — Southwest Highway has once again turned into a waterway — one of several south suburban roads currently flooded.
Tkira Wilkerson said she was finding higher ground in Orland Park Thursday by walking to her office from a partially flooded parking lot.
“It’s quite a hike to get in the office,” she said.
It’s as close as she can park because her usual lot is at 132nd and Southwest Highway.
“This has been a chronic and ongoing problem and definitely an inconvenience to residents in the area and certainly businesses,” Wilkerson said.
The same area flooded in 2015, 2017 and last year, when a sinkhole caused major problems.
Southwest Highway is a state road and an IDOT spokesperson says the drainage system in place was not designed to handle the “volume of water in shorter bursts we are experiencing more often”.
“Obviously this is not the first time this has happened, so I’m just wondering what are they going to do to resolve it,” Wilkerson said.
IDOT has been planning a project to improve the drainage and hopefully fix the problems, but the department has not said when it will be done. The Village of Orland Park’s manager Joseph La Margo says construction might not start until 2022.
Wilkerson says that’s not soon enough.
Officials also say the flooding shut down Wolf Road between 143rd and 151st for at least part of the day and caused problems on 135th Street from Southwest Highway to La Grange Road.
“When you see the barricades for drivers that don’t go around them, there’s a reason for that, especially on some of these rural roads. You can start hydroplaning,” La Margo said.
La Margo says police can ticket drivers who go around barricades. He says several cars have stalled in the water. No one’s reported any serious injuries.