It's about to get very crowded on the Bishop Ford Freeway. A $27 million rehabilitation project gets underway on Monday night.
"Overnight tonight, we're going to start patching on the Ford and that kicks off our entire project from King Drive south to 159th Street," said Jacek Tyszkiewizc, IDOT project engineer.
The majority of the work on a nine-mile stretch of rough road will be done during the overnight hours to lesson the impact on traffic. This includes resurfacing of the expressway along with the entrance and exit ramps, bridge repairs and installation of new guard rail.
When crews begin removing the old guard rail on May 26, traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction at several locations for the safety of the workers and the motorists.
The average daily traffic on the Ford Freeway is about 143,000 vehicles. During construction, the lanes will be reduced by one third, so drivers' best bet for an alternate, as far as an expressway, would be I-57.
"Locally if you look at the north-south streets, possibly Torrence, possibly Indiana, but you've got to remember, a lot of those streets are going to have resurfacing done also," said Tyszkiewizc.
In fact, the Chicago six county area will receive $260 million in stimulus money for road repairs, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That's an additional 85 projects in our region for a total of 325 projects this year. That's nearly double the road work IDOT has in a typical construction season. So while the Bishop Ford Freeway is the only expressway getting a major rehab this year, there will be no shortage of construction in the city and surrounding suburbs.