Vulcan Settles $40 Million Lawsuit over Joliet Road
By Joe Sinopoli
Posted May 18, 2010 @ 04:05 PM
Last update May 19, 2010 @ 04:56 PM
La Grange, IL —
Vulcan Materials Co. of McCook has agreed to pay $40 million to the State of Illinois to settle the Joliet Road lawsuit filed in 2001. The company will pay $20 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation within 10 days, according to the Associated Press. The remaining $20 million will be paid as Vulcan receives funds from its insurers.
“We’re pleased that after more than a decade, an agreement has been reached," Vulcan Materials Company spokesman Joshua Robbins, said. "We are ready to put this matter behind us and continue serving our customers and the community.” Joliet Road, which bisected the Vulcan Materials quarry and served as a major east/west arterial, was closed after the land bridge on which it was situated was determined to be unstable. State engineers long suspected repeated blasting in the quarry affected the stability of the land bridge. U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-3rd District, Western Springs, said he drives Joliet Road daily and knows all too well the problems caused by the road being closed. “I’m very happy to see that we are moving forward to reach some closure,” Lipinski said. Lipinski said state officials will be arranging to have community meetings to get input put from residents as to how the $40 million would best be used to alleviate problems caused by the condemned road. “Someone needs to look into whether or not it would be possible to reopen the road, although everything I have heard is that the road cannot be reopened as is,” he said. “The only other possibility would be a bridge, but a bridge is likely to cost much more than $40 million, but we are not certain about that yet.” Lipinski said he has spoken to IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig, whose agency will be hosting the town meetings. Lipinski said he plans to keep involved. “This is an issue that people come up to me and ask about all the time, what’s going to happen to Joliet Road,” Lipinski said. “This is a serious issue to the Western suburbs. I know this has been an issue since the road was closed a decade ago. It really should be a decision of the community to see what should be done. If it cannot be reopened because of lack of funding, then we need to determine what else can be done in the area to relieve congestion around 55th Street and East Avenue.”
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