Tollway construction projects set to begin

March 16, 2012 3:15:02 PM PDT
There is some good news and some bad news for Chicago area drivers as the road construction season gets underway.

No major projects are planned for any Chicago expressways, but there will be a lot of work on the tollways.

Get ready to detour. The first big repair job on the Illinois Tollway gets underway these weekends as crews begin work on the tri-level bridge near O'Hare Airport.

By Monday morning, the ramp from the northbound Tri-State to the westbound Jane Adams, I-90, will be closed, as well as the ramp from the inbound I-190 to the outbound Adams, until July.

"What we are trying to accomplish here is by closing down the entire bridge, we can be out there for a shorter amount of time" said Kristi LeFleur Illinois Tollway executive director. "We'll be out there for four months instead of seven, and we also will end up creating a safer environment for everyone, both our customers and the workers."

The detour is to continue north on the Tri-State and exit at Touhy west onto River Rd., then re-enter the Tri-State southbound in order to access the westbound Jane Adams.

You may be thinking that detour is going to put commuters through two toll plazas.

"If they're using their I-Pass, we have programmed our back office systems to make sure that people are not double-charged for that toll," LeFleur said.

If you're paying cash, get a receipt at Touhy to show at Devon as proof of the detour payment.

The tri-level bridge is one of many tollway projects this year. Beginning in April, crews will resurface 22 miles of the Central Tri-State from 95th St. to Balmoral, and from Half Day to Lake Cook Rd.

Next month the Reagan Tollway, I-88, will also undergo resurfacing for 38 miles, from Route 66 in north Aurora to Illinois 251 in Rochelle.

This spring, crews will be building a full interchange at Route 47 and I-90. Shoulder widening between Elgin and Rockford on I-90 will get underway this summer.