Seth Lewis


Seth Lewis


Senator Seth Lewis Brings $1.25 Million Funding Request Before Senate Appropriations Committee for Stoplight Improvement in Wheaton

With the Fiscal Year 2025 budget beginning to take shape, State Senator Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett) is trying to get a $1.25 million appropriation included to help address a significant safety concern on Roosevelt Road in Wheaton.

On Wednesday, Lewis made his case before the Senate Appropriations Committee, and leading up to the hearing, 352 witness slips were submitted in support of Lewis’ SB 2647.

Specifically, Lewis is asking that $1.25 million from the General Revenue Fund be allocated to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity so it can be dispersed as a grant to the City of Wheaton to help fund an infrastructure improvement project, which would include a stoplight and a crosswalk. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has identified the intersection for a stoplight based on the number of accidents and the volume of cars in the immediate area. According to Lewis, funding is the only remaining obstacle.

“IDOT is on board and there is tremendous bipartisan support for this project from many segments of the greater Wheaton community,” said Lewis. “Pedestrians are crossing Roosevelt Road in this area just east of County Farm Road, and it is extremely dangerous. There have been too many pedestrian-vehicle incidents, and we need to take action to ensure safe passage across this stretch of Route 38.”

In recent years, the immediate area has been the location of three fatalities and over a dozen injuries involving pedestrians attempting to cross the road, which is located in the vicinity of the Marian Park Apartments and St. Francis High School. Retail shopping establishments, as well as student parking for St. Francis School are located across the street.

Joining Lewis at the hearing to testify in favor of the appropriation were Wheaton resident Deborah Suggs and St. Francis High School President Phillip Kerr.

“This is a crisis that has claimed lives and endangered the lives of many others,” said Suggs during her testimony. “The situation in our city is dire. This is not a matter of convenience. It is a matter of life and death.”

As Kerr testified, he explained that of the 700 students who attend St. Francis, at least 250 cross the road at least twice each day to access parking during the school year. “IDOT wants the stoplight. The city wants the stoplight. Now all we need is the funding.”

Following the hearing, Lewis said, “It has been a pleasure to work with the members of DuPage United and other key stakeholders on this vital community improvement. We have taken a comprehensive approach in reaching out to the decisionmakers who can make this project happen, and now that we have made our case to the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to have conversations with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to impress upon them the urgent need to include these funds in the FY 2025 budget.”

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