ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) --Just in time for holiday travel, a big section of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway construction project is nearing completion.
Four years of construction is finally coming to an end. By Thanksgiving, half of the I-90 repair zone from northwest suburban Elgin to O'Hare International Airport will open to four lanes in each direction. The remaining lanes will open by the end of the year.
"It's really going to serve people well, help with economic development, help with job creation. We want the world to know we're almost done and we're proud of it," Illinois Tollway Chairman Bob Schillerstrom said.
"What they're going to see over the next month and a half is all lanes and all interchanges being turned over to them for their use. We're going to open up different segments of the road as they become safe and available to do so," Illinois Tollway Chief Engineer Paul Kovacs said.
New ramps opened Friday at Meacham and Roselle roads. Work at the newly designed Barrington Road interchange will be done in December, with the final ramp opening in spring.
"We're opening up a single-point, urban interchange. It's going to be very unique because all ramp movements will be controlled by one signal on top of the structure. It will be very efficient," Kovacs said.
There is a lot of new technology built into the new construction: sensors in the road and overhead gantries every half mile from Barrington to O'Hare as part of the smart corridor. Those gantries will have dynamic message signs to alert drivers of crashes or other road hazards.
With people looking for more commuting options, Pace Express will be part of the new I-90 Smart Road, allowing buses to ride on the shoulder as needed. That will begin in December.