The Illinois Tollway announced it will invest $1.63 billion in transportation infrastructure improvements in 2015 for the largest year of capital spending in agency history. This includes funding for the fourth year of the agency’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. These investments are expected to create or sustain as many as 17,000 jobs.
“As we begin the fourth year of the Move Illinois Program, our customers are already seeing the benefits —including reduced congestion and improved mobility on I-90 from Rockford to Elgin,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “We know that drivers will experience work zones along parts of our system, so we ask our customers for their continued patience.”
The Illinois Tollway’s 2015 capital program provides funding for infrastructure projects, including delivering three new interchanges and continuing the rebuilding and widening of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor. In 2015, the Tollway also will complete the first segment of Illinois Route 390 as part of the new, all-electronic Elgin O’Hare Western Access (EOWA) Project.
In addition, the Illinois Tollway is investing in improvements to bridges, interchanges and dynamic message signs (DMS) systemwide to improve travel and safety for drivers. Altogether, 310 lane mi. (499 km) of roadway will be rebuilt, 122 bridges will be repaired and 20 interchanges will be built or improved. Seventeen new, four-color, graphics-capable dynamic message signs will be installed on the Tollway system in 2015.
“This year will be even bigger than last, with a record $1.6 billion in capital spending and significant progress on the Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project — which is currently designed to be the largest roadway investment project in Illinois,” said Illinois Tollway Board Chair Paula Wolff.
The Illinois Tollway’s 2015 capital program includes:
Investing $839.6 million to continue rebuilding and widening the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the-art 21st century corridor.
• Beginning roadway construction on the eastern segment of I-90 between Elgin and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294).
• Completing interchanges at Irene Road and Genoa Road near Belvidere and Lee Street in Des Plaines, as well as working on interchanges at Illinois Route 31 Illinois Route 25 in Elgin, Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates, Roselle Road and Meacham Road in Schaumburg and Lee Street in Rosemont.
• Rebuilding five local crossroad bridges along I-90 to accommodate the widening of the roadway, including Anthony Road, Garden Prairie Road, Higgins Road in Gilberts, Tyrrell Road and Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates.
Investing $319.8 million to continue building the $3.4 billion EOWA Project.
• Completing improvements on Illinois Route 390 from Lake Street (U.S. Route 20) to Rohlwing Road.
• Continuing construction of the new Elmhurst Road Interchange on I-90 and the new I-290 Interchange, as well as work to begin new Illinois Route 390 interchanges at Meacham Road/Medinah Road, Park Boulevard, Prospect Avenue/Arlington Heights Road, Wood Dale Road and Illinois Route 83.
• Beginning work to build the new Illinois Route 390 roadway to the east from I-290 to Illinois Route 83.
• Continuing frontage road construction and local access improvements.
Investing $108 million in the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), including roadway resurfacing from Illinois Route 251 to U.S. Route 30, rehabilitating 19 local crossroad bridges and improving ramps at three interchanges.
Investing $25.1 million in planning studies to prepare for future Tollway improvements and potential new projects.
• Beginning planning and design for reconstruction of the central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).
• Funding planning studies for the Illinois Route 53/120 Project and other emerging projects.
Investing $2.5 million for installing and upgrading dynamic message signs at various locations on I-90, Illinois Route 390 and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94), as well as on I-39, I-57 and I-80 where the Tollway system connects to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s interstates.
In addition, the Illinois Tollway is committed to additional investments that will keep the existing Tollway system in a state of good repair for years to come. Work in 2015 includes an additional $241.1 million for systemwide interchange and bridge repairs, maintenance facility work and other work to address the needs of the existing Tollway system. Projects include:
• Completing the Grand Avenue (Illinois Route 132) Interchange Project on the Tri-State Tollway (I-94).
• Completing construction on the Tollway’s first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified building, the Alsip (M-1) maintenance facility on I-294.
• Rebuilding the Mitchell Road Bridge on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in Aurora.
• Repairing Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) bridges and ramps at O’Hare East Toll Plaza (Plaza 32) and Illinois Route 394 interchanges.
Construction work will begin in March at various locations on the Tollway system. Whenever possible, the Illinois Tollway works to keep as many lanes open in work zones as were available before construction. Lane closures may be required at times to facilitate traffic changes or for the safety of workers and drivers. The Tollway works to schedule these lane closures during non-peak travel times.
Work zone speed limits are in effect 24/7 in all construction zones, whether or not workers are present. Drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and use caution at all times. Illinois State Police have zero tolerance for drivers speeding in work zones. The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $375. Posted signs advise drivers of a $10,000 fine and 14-year jail sentence for hitting a roadway worker.
The Tollway is committed to “Building Green” and minimizing the environmental impact of construction by reducing, recycling and reusing materials. Recycled asphalt pavement aggregate, recycled concrete aggregate, along with supplemental cements such as fly ash and ground granulated slag from industrial waste are green materials that may be part of the concrete pavements. In addition, new asphalt used in projects will incorporate recycled materials including warm-mix asphalt, reclaimed asphalt pavement, ground tire rubber and recycled asphalt shingles. In addition to reducing the cost of this work, reuse of these materials reduces the need for virgin asphalt materials and reduces the volume of material that would otherwise be sent to landfills.
For more detailed information about Illinois Tollway construction projects, visit “Project By Roadway” in the Construction/Planning section on www.illinoistollway.com.
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