University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett (from left), IDOT Bureau Chief Charles F. Riddle, Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz, Illinois Tollway Executive Director Lanyea Griffin, Cook County DoTH Superintendent Jennifer “Sis” Killen. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett (from left), IDOT Bureau Chief Charles F. Riddle, Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz, Illinois Tollway Executive Director Lanyea Griffin, Cook County DoTH Superintendent Jennifer “Sis” Killen. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

SW Regional Publishing Peoples MORTGAGE Banner Ad 728x90 03 31 22

Work set to begin on new Tollway ramps for 88th/Cork Avenue

By Carol McGowan

After years of wishing and planning, construction of the Tri-State Tollway interchange at 88th and Cork Avenue in Justice is about to begin.

Officials from the Illinois Tollway Authority, Illinois Department of Transportation, Cook County Department of Transportation, Village of Justice, and City of Palos Hills were on hand to help kick off the project last week.

The June 1 event was held on Frontage Road, between Cork Avenue and Industrial Drive in Justice.

The new interchange will be built as part of the Tollway’s $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway Project, with the cost of new ramps being shared by the Tollway and its local partners.

The interchange is one of the top projects in the state’s Competitive Freight Program aimed at improving the movement of freight and delivering congestion relief and economic benefits across the state.

dvn justice tollway ramp1

Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz (from left, front) Trustee Fran Mills and Trustee Melanie Kuban; (back row, from left) Trustee John Obrochta, Trustee Jeff Allen, Village Clerk Dave Kroll.

Local residents may remember when there was an exit ramp from northbound Interstate 294 to 88th/Cork Avenue. It was removed in 1992 as a perceived safety threat to a nearby school, which itself was closed a few years later. That ramp was part of the discussion at last week’s event.

The current project has been a dream of Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz for years and has been in the planning stages for years involving the tollway, state, county, the Village of Justice, and the Southwest Conference of Mayors.

The $39 million infrastructure investment includes construction of new ramps connecting 88th/Cork Avenue to the Tri-State Tollway, along with other local roadway improvements to both accommodate the larger Central Tri-State construction project as well as to improve local traffic circulation and provide congestion relief.

Reconstruction of the 88th/Cork Avenue Bridge over I-294 and construction on the new ramps is set to start this month, while construction on the mainline Central Tri-State Tollway surrounding the area is in full swing.

The interchange project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2024.

Executive Director for the Illinois Tollway Lanyea Griffin said, “This new interchange is going to be more than access improvements – it’s going to be a game changer for the Chicago Southland in terms of providing congestion relief and economic opportunities. Our agency’s innovative Interchange and Roadway Cost Sharing Policy is providing communities like Justice new opportunities and is opening doors for economic success, and as you will hear those doors are wide open.”

As part of the project, the Tollway will construct a new ramp connecting northbound I-294 to 88th/Cork Avenue and a new ramp connecting 88th/Cork Avenue to southbound I-294. In addition, the Tollway will widen the 88th/Cork Avenue Bridge over I-294 to provide a southbound left turn lane, as well as additional pedestrian and bicycle access, noise walls and drainage and lighting improvements.

The new interchange is designed to be compatible with a new ramp connecting southbound Archer Avenue to northbound I-294, which is being constructed by the Illinois Tollway as part of the Central Tri-State Tollway Project.

“This project aligns with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s goal that all communities throughout the county are ensured equitable access to safe, modern and efficient roadways,” said Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Supt. Jennifer “Sis” Killen. “Transportation investment is the backbone to supporting economic potential in our region. We are proud to partner with the Tollway and the Village of Justice on this critical freight project to provide improved mobility and reduced congestion for those traveling within the Village and surrounding Southland communities.”

The new interchange is located within an enterprise zone created by the Village of Justice and will encourage new construction and support job creation in the village, as well as opening up an entryway to Justice and other surrounding communities to relieve traffic congestion and provide easier access to destinations including freight related businesses and SeatGeek Stadium.

Wasowicz was excited to see the project get underway. ““The project will facilitate investment in and redevelopment of the Village of Justice and several surrounding communities while improving efficiencies for freight related companies for more cost-effective shipping and logistics and will create employment opportunities and mobility for the region.”

Benefits of the ramp work mentioned include creating improved truck access to the CSX Railroad intermodal yard in Bedford Park, reducing congestion, and promoting economic development and job creation in the region.

Mayor Jerry Bennett of the City of Palos Hills was on hand to congratulate Justice and Wasowicz.

“Mayor Wasowicz approached the Southwest Conference of Mayors 15 years ago to look into funding to get the ramp project moving. That’s a lot of dedication,” Bennett said.

Bennett, who’s in his 41st year as mayor, said, “What’s good for one town is good for everyone else. It brings development for all of us, so I’m happy for them.

“Cooperation is how things get done. There were multi agencies who bought this to fruition and working together is what it’s all about. There may be more projects in the works down the road. We will be looking for a few ramp projects on south end of 294 around 103rd near Harlem. Will work with Chicago Ridge to try and ease up 95th street ramp congestion.”

Information on the 88th/Cork Avenue Interchange Project, including comprehensive information and map overviews can be found in the Projects section on the Tollway’s website.

1 Comment

  1. Larry S. on June 7, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Does this have anything to do with the utterly idiotic decision to merge 79th street into 1 lane at 88th Avenue? It’s absolutely confounding how some moron thought this was a good ides!! Can this be reversed rigjt away? This is now an ongoing safety hazard as cars in the right lane are racing down and cutting off cars in the left lane!!



Local News

Funeral-Flowers.4 logo

Obituaries June 30, 2022

VINCE BLACK Vince Black, age 52, passed away May 22. Survived by his daughter, Mary “Gabby”, her mother AnneMarie and step-daughters Samantha, Stephanie and Alyssa; dear godfather of Jackson Wertz; fond brother of the late Lance Corporal Larry (the late Joyce) Thompson. Beloved friend of Karen and devoted friend to many. Member of the Carpenters…

Kathy Headley

Farewell and thanks to Nathan, Connor and David

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 As June ends, we at St. Rita of Casica Parish and St. Clare of Montefalco Shrine sadly say goodbye to Nathan Fernandes, Connor Fitzmaurice and David Marshall. The three are pre-novices discerning a vocation to the priesthood in…

Peggy Zabicki

Grateful for the freedoms we have

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Happy Birthday USA! I am so grateful for the freedom we have in our wonderful country. I hope those who choose to celebrate our freedom by lighting illegal fireworks will be arrested by our police, who I hope will have the…

Laura Ortega

Graduations are so bittersweet

By Laura Ortega Your correspondent in Greater Ashburn 4214 W. 82nd Place • (773) 627-6679 Congratulations to the Class of 2022! It’s bittersweet to see everyone graduate, especially when you can remember those same individuals graduating kindergarten not so long ago. A huge congratulations to my daughter, Liliana, who graduated eighth grade. I look forward…

Mary Stanek

Peck playlot taking shape

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 “It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that makes a great difference in our lives” – Fred Rogers. Who remembers the play lots of the 60s and 70s? Can you recall…

Joan Hadac

A mom’s heart broke, and now her children are broken-hearted

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] A mother’s heart, filled with love for her children, is unique. I understand that in a way only other moms can. I thought about that the other day as I read the profoundly sad story of Garfield Ridge mom Gisela “Chella” Ruiz.…

Nick Kantas

Kantas wins bid for 4th Subcircuit vacancy

By Carol McGowan Nick Kantas came out on top in the Democratic primary for Cook County judge in the 4th Subcircuit. He won over Amanda Moira Pillsbury in the race to fill the Gavin vacancy. Kantas had 12,652 votes to 10,393 for Pillsbury with 99 percent the vote in (218 of 221 precincts), according to…

Lyons Township Democratic Committeeman Steve Landek (left) congratulates Terry Carr Tuesday night at Carr's victory celebration in McCook (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Terry Carr elected as Lyons Township Republican Committeeperson

By Carol McGowan It was quite a celebration at JC’s Pub in McCook Tuesday night as the results came in for the race for Lyons Township Republican Committeeperson. McCook Mayor Terrance “Terry” Carr claimed victory in the race against GOP incumbent Catherine (Katie) Justak, by a 56-44% ratio (3,008-2,352) with all 69 precincts reporting. At…

George Cardenas

Cardenas ousts Wendt in Dem primary for Board of Review

By Bob Bong Palos Heights attorney and Realtor Tammy Wendt was denied a second term Tuesday night when she was defeated by Chicago Ald. George Cardenas in the Democratic primary for the Board of Review 1st District. Wendt said the party had been out to get her since she surprisingly prevailed in 2020 over endorsed…

Cook County Commissioner Frank Aguilar won the Democratic primary Tuesday night. (File photo)

Aguilar wins nomination in 16th Cook County District

By Bob Bong Incumbent Frank Aguilar held off a tough challenge from Letty Garcia in the Democratic primary for the 16th Cook County Board District Tuesday night. With all but one precinct reporting, Aguilar held a 1,326 vote lead over Garcia. His 8,615-7,289 win was tantamount to re-election as no Republicans filed to run in…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
UPDATED Bailey wins GOP nomination to challenge Pritzker

UPDATED Bailey wins GOP nomination to challenge Pritzker

By JERRY NOWICKI & PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] State Sen. Darren Bailey, who gained statewide notoriety challenging Gov. JB Pritzker’s pandemic executive order authority in court, will be the incumbent’s challenger in the November general election. As of about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Bailey had carried over 55 percent of the GOP vote from…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion overturning…

6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker

6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker

By PETER HANCOCK & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republican voters in Illinois will choose from six candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the upcoming June 28 primary. The field includes a conservative farmer and state lawmakers who is the recent polling frontrunner, the mayor of Illinois’ second largest…

Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office

Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Illinois voters might know Alexi Giannoulias as the state’s treasurer from 2007 to 2011, or they might know him as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010. He’s now looking to get back into public life as he runs for secretary…

Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights

Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected]s.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released…

Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state

Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago City Clerk…

Republicans see opening in secretary of state race

Republicans see opening in secretary of state race

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, there is an open race for the office of Illinois secretary of state as incumbent Democrat Jesse White prepares to retire, and Republicans hope that will give them an opportunity to pick up a statewide elected office.…

Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore

Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to all of the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago…

Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement

Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago handed down a one-year prison sentence Tuesday for a former state senator who once chaired the Senate Labor Committee. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzlement for receiving salary and benefits from…

CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act

CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – In a 4-3 decision with a blistering dissent from the Republican minority, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to rule on a question of whether Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional. It was the second time the case of the People v. Vivian Brown came before the court and…

Regional Palos Gaidas Funeral Home House Ad
CRR NH Les Brothers Restaurant House Ad