If your travel plans for the next month or so have you driving in the vicinity of 47th Street and Eberly/East Avenue, you should either plan for an aggravating delay or work out an alternate route.
Beginning Aug. 15 through Sept. 11, one of the two Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad grade crossings will be completely closed to accommodate track repairs. According to the railroad, sections of deteriorating rail are being replaced at each crossing.
The work has nothing to do with the long talked about but never implemented grade crossing upgrade at the complicated intersection that straddles Brookfield, LaGrange and McCook.
Last week, the Illinois Harbor Belt Railroad announced that the 47th Street crossing (west of East Avenue) will be closed through Aug. 28. The East Avenue crossing (south of 47th Street) will be closed between Aug. 29 and Sept. 11. Poor weather could lengthen closures.
While the intersection won’t be closed down completely at any time, motorists are advised to avoid the area, which at the best of times can be a snarl of traffic, as cars navigate the grade crossings, which are controlled by stop signs.
Recommended alternate routes include Plainfield Road, 55th Street, LaGrange Road and Ogden Avenue. The village of LaGrange has said that the Bluff Avenue interconnect and residential side streets will be open to local traffic only, and that police will be enforcing that policy.