Cook County Commission John Daley (11th District) made a surprise visit at Tuesday’s village board meeting to clarify remarks made by an Oak Lawn trustee that the county no longer considered the traffic signalization project at Central Avenue and Southwest Highway “a priority.”
Daley said he had received several calls after the Jan. 22 village board meeting that the county was no longer committed to installing a left turn lane at Central Avenue and Southwest Highway.
The village has about $7 million left in Build America bonds, part of which was to be used for building a left turn lane northbound on Central Avenue turning west on to Southwest Highway. Oak Lawn trustees previously passed a resolution approving to split the $1.2 million cost for fixing the corner with the county.
“Contrary to what was said we’re very committed to the project,” Daley told the village board. “You passed a resolution for a 50/50 match so we’re willing to go forward. We’re waiting to hear back from village.”
At the Jan. 22 meeting, Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) and chair of the public works committee said he had asked county engineers to produce prior studies and requested a cost breakdown of what was spent to date from village staff.
“As everyone knows the Build America bonds are essentially depleted,” Streit said. “At this point what we need to do is be fair to everyone and start evaluating projects based on need as opposed to want. I think we need to reconsider everything.”
The village board voted 3-2 to postpone proceeding with the project until after it had discussed infrastructure projects for 2013.
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