FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2021
CONTACT: John W. Kieken, 708-302-5332
Judge Recuses Himself From NorthPoint Traffic Study Lawsuit
On December 8th, Judge Anderson signed the following order:
“… Because the undersigned has friends and family members with personal interests in both sides of the controversy, the undersigned must recuse.
The case is transferred to Presiding Judge Rickmon for reassignment. Tomorrow’s court date stands…
The TRO will be handled by Judge Rickmon or the otherwise-assigned judge. …”
Stop NorthPoint Files Emergency Motion to See Traffic Studies or Stop Hearings
On December 3rd, attorneys hired by John Kieken, co-founder of Stop NorthPoint LLC, filed a complaint in the Will County courthouse against the City of Joliet seeking injunctive and declaratory relief for denial of his Illinois Freedom of Information Act request for traffic impact studies regarding the NorthPoint project.
A follow-up emergency motion was filed on December 7th seeking to compel Joliet to produce the traffic studies before any hearings on NorthPoint’s annexation request can proceed.
“VERIFIED EMERGENCY MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER/PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO COMPEL JOLIET TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS RELATED TO ANY TRAFFIC STUDIES AHEAD OF THE DECEMBER 21, 2021 CITY COUNCIL HEARINGS AND TO STAY THE CITY COUNCIL HEARINGS”
The motions come after revelations uncovered in recent Stop NorthPoint FOIA requests that raise serious questions about the impact of the massive proposed project.
Kieken is represented by the Stop NorthPoint legal team, Robert Fioretti, Richard Linden, and Peter Bustamante.
NorthPoint Gets More Sweetener Than Dunkin’
If you want to build a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru in Joliet, traffic studies are apparently required. However, Joliet officials are poised to approve a 4,000-acre industrial warehouse complex without any such impact studies. Maybe if Dunkin’ had included a fancy closed-loop drive-thru, traffic studies would not have been an issue.
On the heels of exposing plans for an Illiana-Lite Expressway as part of NorthPoint’s massive boondoggle, another email obtained by Freedom of Information requests by Kieken and Stop NorthPoint reveal that IDOT does not believe the area can handle additional traffic — closed loop or not.
Even as the number of traffic studies provided by Joliet for the massive project is zero, no less than the IDOT District 1 Engineer has stated emphatically that Route 53 simply cannot support a 20-million-square-foot development — and this is BEFORE NorthPoint announced the expansion of their project by nearly 1,000 acres last October. Now that the massive project is approaching 4,000 acres, it is estimated that it would contain 40 million square feet of warehouse space, which adds twice the traffic that IDOT already said this area cannot handle.
While discussing Compass Business Park on June 19, 2020, IDOT District 1 Engineer Anthony Quigley said,
“… IL 53 would not be able to support a 20 million SF development…”
He made additional comments regarding impacts to the general area:
“… The intersection at Lorenzo Road is getting over burdened with trucks. The interchange at I80 is even worse. It will be at least 5 years before the interchange at I80 is completed”
This not only directly contradicts repeated assertions by both NorthPoint and Joliet that the “closed loop” would alleviate traffic in the area, it supports CenterPoint’s objection that the project would drastically overburden local roads and intersections.
Of note, IDOT was well aware of the “closed loop” concept when having these discussions and presumably took into consideration the ~20,000 vehicles/day a project of this magnitude would add to Rt 53: NorthPoint had already been trumpeting their “closed loop” road for a full three years by the time of Quigley’s comments, which were made in spite of the loop’s supposed ability to somehow temper the traffic impacts and destruction to local infrastructure the project would bring.
The public deserves an opportunity to inspect the traffic engineering and traffic impact studies for this project before Joliet City Council conducts hearings on December 21, 2021. There is no basis for the city to keep this information secret and away from public view.
For Questions and Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joliet plans to vote on the newly expanded NorthPoint boondoggle at the City Council Hearing on December 21 at 6:30 PM. Your attendance at this hearing is critical.