Illinois Tollway Executive Director Brian McPartlin recently introduced 2007 construction plans for multiple Rebuild & Widen Projects along a 23-mile stretch of the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) from Oak Brook to Aurora. The 2007 work launches three separate rebuilding and widening projects with all work scheduled for completion by the end of 2009 as part of the Illinois Tollway's $5.3 billion congestion-relief program: Open Roads for a Faster Future.
"These complex new projects will bring great benefits for Illinois Tollway users; however, each will have its own challenges for drivers and until construction is completed, we'll continue to ask for patience," said McPartlin. "Chicago-area drivers recognize the need for congestion relief and now we ask them to work with us in the coming years as we deliver additional lanes and smooth new pavement to improve their travels."
On the east end of I-88, work will begin in spring 2007 on the York Road to Rte. 83 Rebuild & Widen Project and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2009. In addition to rebuilding the nearly 50-year-old roadway, the Rebuild & Widen Project will add a fourth lane in each direction on the 2-mile-long section to provide additional capacity and help reduce congestion. The project also will include completion of the cash plaza and the addition of a fourth Open Road Tolling (ORT) lane at the new westbound York Road Toll Plaza.
Reconstruction of the connector ramp bridges between I-88 and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) is included in this project to increase capacity from one lane to two lanes and provide access to the York Road Toll Plaza ORT lanes from the northbound Tri-State Tollway. In addition, the project includes plans to rebuild the Harger Road entrance to westbound I-88, and rebuild the bridge over 22nd Street.
Work is already underway on I-88 to rebuild and widen the 5.7-mile section between Washington Street and Finley Road from three to four lanes. Eastbound work is scheduled to be completed this year and work on the westbound side is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2008. In 2005, the Tollway reconstructed and widened to four lanes the adjacent section of the Reagan Memorial Tollway between IL Rte. 59 and Washington Street.
As part of this project, the Illinois Tollway and DuPage County are coordinating the construction and funding of the reconstruction and reconfiguration of the Naperville Road Interchange, with DuPage County funding nearly half of the interchange project costs. The Tollway is the lead agency on the interchange construction, while DuPage County is responsible for the construction of the local improvements, including the new connector road needed to access the reconfigured interchange. The Naperville Road westbound entrance and eastbound exit ramps are scheduled to reopen in summer 2007 and the remainder of the interchange work is scheduled to be completed in 2008.
Illinois Tollway work on this section also will include interchange improvements at IL Rte. 53 and the North-South Tollway (I-355), bridge rebuilding and widening at IL Rte. 53, Warrenville Road and the DuPage River and widening of the Yackley Road Bridge.
In fall 2007, advance work will begin on a project to rebuild and widen the 3.4-mile section of the Reagan Memorial Tollway between the Aurora Toll Plaza and Orchard Road, including reconstruction of the bridge over the Fox River. The project will add a third lane in each direction to provide additional capacity and help reduce congestion. Eastbound mainline work is scheduled for 2008 and westbound mainline is work scheduled to be complete by the end of 2009.
In addition, the eastbound entrance and exit ramps, and the ramp bridge at IL Rte. 31 are part of the project, as well as the bridge carrying IL Rte. 31 over the Tollway. The project also will remove the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge structure over I-88, just west of the IL Rte. 31 interchange.
The Illinois Tollway plans to maintain the same number of lanes as during normal conditions throughout the duration of construction. To make this possible, lane width will be reduced, traffic will be shifted and counterflow lanes will be used during mainline rebuilding and widening. The Tollway is committed to limiting closures of ramps and lanes only when absolutely necessary and will time closures to have the least impact on drivers.
A 45 mph speed limit is in effect in all construction zones 24/7 and drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and use caution, especially when workers are present. Illinois State Police have zero tolerance for drivers speeding in work zones. Posted signs advise motorists of a $10,000 fine and 14-year jail sentence for hitting a roadway worker.