CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of the biggest construction projects of 2021 on I-490 western access to O'Hare International Airport is firmly underway.
The concrete ramps stop abruptly, but it will eventually take shape in the long awaited I-490 western O'Hare corridor that will tie together I-90, Route 390 and the Tri-State Tollway.
"That's a big deal because we are finally allowing people to connect from I-90 all the way down to the southern suburbs without having to go through the airport corridor, and that's going to help in a lot of ways. It's going to save congestion, it's going to save fuel, it's going to save money," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of the 8th District.
Local leaders got a tour of the I-490 progress Thursday, including the large amount of work that got done in the past year during the stay-at-home mandates and social distancing.
There will be 15 ramps that make up the I-490 and Route 390 Interchange.
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Along with the progress being made at the I-490/Route 390 Interchange, there is also construction in place at the I-490 Interchange with I-90, the Jane Addams Tollway and at the former site of the old Des Plaines Oasis.
There are several years to go until the new corridor is complete. The ramps will open first.
While the project will make it easier to access O'Hare, there are also benefits to the surrounding suburbs.
"This project is going to provide significant congestion relief. I mean there's 86% of the roads in this area are considered congestion, that they experience severe congestion. This project is going to relieve a lot of that," Illinois Tollway Acting Chief Engineering Officer Manar Nashif said.
The project also includes local road improvements and wide-reaching economic development that is expected when it is completed. It is scheduled for completion in 2026.
Construction underway for new I-490 western O'Hare corridor to I-90, Rt. 390, Tri-State Tollway
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