In 1998 Joliet Road was closed between East Avenue and 55th Street due to safety and structural integrity concerns. On May 17, 2010, the State of Illinois was awarded 40 million dollars in a settlement with Vulcan Materials as a result of the closure of Joliet Road. Later that year the Department revisited a 2003 Traffic Impact Study of this area to determine how to mitigate traffic impacts from the closure of Joliet Road. The updated study identified and analyzed intersections and roadway segments in the study area to determine how safety and capacity could be improved.
This information helped to group intersection improvements by priority based on safety issues, opportunities to improve capacity, and proximity to the improvement to the Joliet Road Closure. The study grouped 12 intersection improvements into two groups, Priority I and Priority II, according to these criteria. A Public Meeting was held on June 27, 2011 presenting these improvements to the public. The Department is committed to funding 40 million dollars for highway improvements throughout the entire Joliet Road study area. The 47th Street at East Avenue project was one of the Priority I improvements.