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Heavy Truck Traffic Threatens Route 66

Heavy Truck Traffic Threatens Route 66

The Joliet-area town of Elwood is a victim of its own success. Police chief Fred Hayes says an industrial park projected to handle up to a thousand trucks a day in 2000 now sees 8,000-12,000.

The downsides include safety, with at least one recent fatality. Also, the traffic is hard on the town’s roads and threatens tourism along historic Route 66.

While truckers say time is money, and driving through town saves time, Hayes is urging them to change their ways.

“Although it may be a little inconvenient, it is the safest route to use I-55 and Arsenal Road” instead of 66, Hayes says. “Safety has to override any inconvenience.”

Hayes hopes state and/or federal officials help with “a regional traffic safety plan … a comprehensive solution to the infrastructure; trying to improve the flow of commerce and significantly improve public safety” rather than simply writing tickets to everyone.

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