Main Street extension talks anger Dyer residents

2013-03-30T19:15:00Z 2013-04-01T00:27:03Z Main Street extension talks anger Dyer residentsMary Wilds Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 30, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

DYER | Angry residents crowded a meeting last week on the proposed Main Street extension.

Dyer hosted the informational meeting even though the town is not directly involved in the project.

“We have nothing to do with the funds or design of this project,” Town Attorney Bill Enslen said. “Our only interest is to protect residents as much as we can.”

Many residents cried foul, blaming Dyer officials for failing to keep them informed or for not going to bat for them throughout the process.

“Thank you for having my back,” Cindy Allande-Tarin told the Town Council after learning that Main Street as planned will be built only 30 feet from her property line. “None of you are getting my vote.”

Other residents said they had thought for years that the extension would only be a two-lane road and found out only recently that it will be a four lane.

Harry Gilmore, of Robinson Engineering, was on the firing line through most of the night, fielding mostly hostile comments and questions from the audience while detailing the history of the project.

The first Main Street study project was initiated in 1989, and the agencies currently involved include Munster, Lynwood, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. No representatives from either town or the state or federal government attended the meeting.

The Main Street extension project is now in the environmental study and engineering phase, Gilmore said.

The project, as planned, would run east from Joe Orr Road in Illinois along an existing right of way, north of the Meadows subdivision in Dyer and south of the Lansing airport. Main Street east of Sheffield Avenue and west of Calumet Avenue would be widened to four lanes.

Dyer Councilman Connee Trepton asked why the road couldn’t be reconfigured farther north.

“(Why not) give the road Munster wants so badly to Munster,” she said.

Moving the road farther north is not possible because of the airport, Gilmore told her.

Gilmore also said the Federal Highway Administration wants input, whether residents believed that or not.

"We want to (learn) what can be done to make it palatable to you,” he said. “We can’t ignore you in the study.”

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