A lawsuit involving the closing of a one-mile section of Joliet Road, aka Route 66, in the Chicago suburb of McCook, Ill., finally will go to trial next month nine years after it was filed, according to David Clark, aka Windy City Road Warrior.
The Illinois Department of Transportation alleges that Vulcan Materials seriously undermined the road by digging at a nearby quarry. The road section was closed in 1998 because of severe pavement problems.
Clark writes on his blog:
After nearly nine years, the case is now scheduled to be heard in court starting May 10th. (Full disclosure: I have been retained by lawyers for IDOT to provide expert testimony on the history of Route 66 and the specific history of this section of Joliet Road through McCook). […]
In the Autumn 2002 issue of the [Route 66] Federation News, then-Mayor of McCook Patrick Gorski wrote, “In May of 1998 a one mile stretch of Historic Route 66 was closed due to damage to the roadway…the road basically split in half and was actually moving, therefore causing certain sections of the roadway to sink, causing areas to crack, and concrete jersey walls to explode from the pressure of the movement…Limestone in the area was mined right up to about fifteen feet on the north and south sides of the Historic Highway 66 corridor. This type of mining, and excavating, along with other acts committed by the quarry operators, caused the roadway to be damaged.”
Vulcan maintains that nature is to blame for the road’s instability.
The lawsuit will determine whether Vulcan is liable for the road damage. Regardless, it seems doubtful, given the grave condition of the roadway, that it will ever be reopened.