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Construction will slow traffic this year on major thoroughfares like the central Tri-State Tollway and I-90/94 in Chicago, as work continues on massive multiyear projects. The eight-year reconstruction of the Tri-State near O’Hare International Airport kicks into high gear this year from near O’Hare to 95th Street, with one lane closed each way at the south end.

The seemingly never-ending rebuild of the Jane Byrne Interchange downtown continues, as does resurfacing on the outbound Kennedy Expressway. Interchanges on the Tri-State at I-57 and I-80 at U.S. 30 will also be rebuilt, with bridge replacements on I-80.

The work comes as traffic, which had been drastically reduced by COVID-19 closures, is building back to familiar Chicago congestion.

Work will also be done on interchanges for the coming I-490, at I-90 and I-390, in preparation for a western access to O’Hare International Airport.

Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project

Estimated cost: $4 billion

Estimated completion: End of 2026

  • Between Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont and 95th Street in Oak Lawn: Widening and reconstructing the roadway and bridges, and reconfiguring interchanges.
  • Reconstruction between St. Charles Road and Wolf Road at the north end of the corridor, and between 95th Street and I-55 at the south end of the corridor.
  • Wolf Road to the O’Hare Oasis: Roadway rehabilitation and widening.
  • Northbound Mile Long Bridge: Closed for demolition and construction of a new bridge.
  • Archer Avenue Interchange: Under reconstruction.
  • A new BNSF bridge is being built.
  • I-290/I-88: Reconstruction of a new interchange.
  • New traffic patterns and temporary lane closures.

Estimated cost: $3.4 billion

Estimated completion: End of 2025

  • Construction continues on new interchanges that will link I-490 to the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Illinois Route 390 Tollway and to I-294, which will provide western access into O’Hare International Airport.
  • Touhy Reservoir at the north end of I-490: Railroad track access relocation and bridge construction.
  • Off-peak closures on I-90, Touhy Road and Mount Prospect Road will be scheduled as needed throughout the year.
  • On westbound I-90, the right shoulder is closed from the Union Pacific Railroad to Elmhurst Road through the end of the year.

I-294/I-57 Interchange (Phase 2)

Estimated cost: $78 million

Estimated completion: 2022

  • Northbound I-294 to northbound I-57 and southbound I-57 to northbound I-294: New connecting interchange ramps.
  • Roadway widening on I-57.
  • Southbound I-294: Reduced to three lanes through summer 2021.
  • I-57 between the CSX Railroad and Kedzie Avenue: Right shoulder is closed in both directions through summer 2021.

Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)

Estimated completion: End of 2021

  • Deerpath Road Bridge is closed through the end of 2021. A detour is posted.
  • Eastbound I-294: Traffic is shifted, and shoulders are closed in both directions.
  • Windsor Drive Bridge: Reduced to a single lane through the spring. Additional closures can be expected on Windsor Drive.
  • Shoulders on the ramps connecting I-88 and I-294: Closed. Traffic is shifted.

Stearns School Road Bridge over the Tri-State Tollway (I-94)

Estimated cost: $5.4 million

Estimated completion: 2022

  • Removal and replacement of the Gurnee bridge.
  • Stearns School Road Bridge: Closed through the end of the yearn. A detour is posted.
  • I-94: Reduced to three lanes in both directions at the bridge through May.

Estimated completion: End of 2022

  • Jackson Street and Adams Street bridges replaced.
  • Inbound and outbound I-90/94: Reconstruction and addition of a new inbound collector-distributor road.
  • The bridges closed in 2020.

Montrose Avenue over the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) bridge rehabilitation

Estimated completion: Summer 2021

  • Installation of new steel beams and construction of bridge deck on the north structure.
  • Access to the CTA is maintained.
  • Motorists can expect lane reductions and overnight traffic stops.

Kennedy Expressway (I-90) at Cumberland Avenue

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • I-90 between Harlem Avenue and I-190: Widening and resurfacing, construction of new noise and retaining walls, drainage improvements and a new collector-distributor road at the Cumberland Avenue interchange along the outbound expressway.
  • Expect overnight lane closures.

Kennedy Expressway (I-90) resurfacing

Estimated completion: End of 2021

  • I-90 from the Edens Expressway (I-94) junction to Harlem Avenue (Illinois 43): Road resurfacing, installation of shoulder rumble strips and drainage improvements.
  • Outbound Kennedy (I-90): Resurfacing.
  • Overnight outbound lane closures will take place weekdays, starting at 9 p.m., with occasional ramp and inbound lane closures. All lanes and ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. each morning.

I-80 and U.S. 30 Interchange

Estimated completion: End of 2021

  • I-80 from about I-355 through U.S. 30, New Lenox: Widening and reconstruction to three lanes in each direction.
  • Along U.S. 30: Modernized traffic signals, drainage improvement, and the extension of a bicycle and pedestrian path.
  • Two lanes in each direction on I-80 remain open during construction.

I-55 and Weber Road Interchange

Estimated completion: 2022

  • Weber Road between 135th Street/Romeo Road and 119th Street/Rodeo Road, Romeoville: Addition of a third lane in each direction, modernized traffic signals, LED lighting, improved drainage and a barrier median.
  • Expect periodic overnight lane closures, as needed, from approximately 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., through the end of the project.

I-55 at Madison Street (DuPage County)

Estimated cost: $1.9 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Late 2023

  • Deck overlay and bridge repairs, Burr Ridge.
  • Occasional overnight lane closures.

I-55 at Lemont Road (DuPage County)

Estimated cost: $17 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2023

  • Bridge replacement and interstate reconstruction, Woodridge.
  • All lanes of I-55 and access to Lemont Road will be maintained during the project.

Illinois 83 (Kingery Highway) from Third Avenue to Illinois 171 (Archer Avenue) in DuPage County

Estimated cost: $1 million

Estimated completion: Summer 2021

  • Modernize traffic signals, install rumble strips, add new pavement markings and replace sections of guardrail.
  • Daily lane closures and occasional overnight lane closures are anticipated.

Illinois 31 (Lake Street) from Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) to Rathbone Avenue (Kane County)

Estimated cost: $2.8 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Pavement preservation resurfacing and ADA improvements.

Illinois 31 (State Street) from Strom Drive to West Road (Kane County)

Estimated cost: $4 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • New ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps, improve drainage and make repairs to the State Street bridge over U.S. 20 (Elgin Bypass).

Illinois 47 at Main Street (Kane County)

Estimated cost: $9.8 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Summer 2022

  • Replace existing bridge, reconstruct the intersection and modernize traffic signals in Sugar Grove.
  • One lane will be maintained in each direction.

Illinois 72 (Oak Knoll Drive) at Getzelman Road/State Street (Kane County)

Estimated cost: $4.5 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Late 2022

  • Intersection improvement will include new traffic signals, paving, ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps, improved draining and lighting in Hampshire.
  • Road closures will be in place for several months on State Street and several weeks on Getzelman Road.

U.S. 41 (Skokie Highway) at Deerpath Road (Lake County)

Estimated cost: $12 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2022

  • Replacement of existing pump station.
  • Deerpath Road from Skokie Highway to Golf Lane in Lake Forest: Resurfacing, new sidewalks and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps installed.
  • Deerpath Road: Reduced to single-lane traffic for about one month.
  • Exit ramps to Deerpath Road: To be closed for several weeks.

U.S. 41 (Skokie Highway) from Illinois 21 to Dorchester Avenue (Lake County)

Estimated cost: $1.1 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Resurfacing project with new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps.

U.S. 41 (Skokie Highway) at Illinois 132 (Grand Avenue) in Lake County

Estimated cost: $19.8 million

Estimated completion: Summer 2021

  • Widening of Grand Avenue and the southbound U.S. 41 ramp in Gurnee.
  • Grand Avenue: Reduced to one lane in each direction.

Illinois 60 from Des Plaines River to Riverwoods Road (Lake County)

Estimated cost: $2.75 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Resurfacing and the addition of ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps.

Illinois 131 from Illinois 120 to Canadian National Railway (Lake County)

Estimated cost: $3.1 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Resurfacing and the addition of ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps.

Illinois 137 from Russell Road to Greenwood Road (Lake County)

Estimated cost: $4.3 million

Project start: Summer 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Resurfacing and the addition of ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps.

I-55 from Interstate 80 to U.S. 52 (Jefferson Street) in Will County

Estimated cost: $52.4 million

Estimated completion: Fall 2023

  • Converting the existing interchange into a diverging diamond interchange while adding auxiliary lanes on both sides of I-55.
  • Three lanes of I-55 in both directions will be maintained, with one lane in each direct on local routes.

I-55 at Illinois 59 (Will County)

Estimated cost: $8.7 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Three lanes of I-55 in both directions will be maintained.

I-55 from north of River Road to north of the I&M Canal (Will County)

Estimated cost: $8.16 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Installation of rumble strips on the shoulders and resurfacing.
  • Overnight lane closures with multiple weekend land closures anticipated.

I-55 from south of I-80 to Weber Road (Will County)

Estimated cost: $47.9 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Improving three bridges that carry I-55 over U.S. 30, Canadian National Railroad and Mink Creek.

I-55 at Illinois 53 and I-55 at Joliet Road (Will County)

Estimated cost: $16 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Structures will be redecked and widened.
  • Three lanes of I-55 in both directions will be maintained during construction, and overnight lane closures are anticipated.

I-80 from Gardner Street to Rowell Avenue (eastbound) and Richard Street (westbound) in Will County

Estimated cost: $41.6 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2022

  • Pavement reconstruction, widening, replacing or rehabilitating the eastbound I-80 bridges over Hickory Creek, Richards Street and Canadian National Railroad/Rowell Avenue and westbound Richards Street.
  • Eastbound I-80 ramp to Richards Street: Closed during the second stage of construction.
  • Two lanes of I-80 in both directions will be maintained through construction.

Illinois 1 from Burrville Road to just north of Illinois 394 and Illinois 394 from Illinois 1 to County Line Road (Will County)

Estimated cost: $5.5 million

Project start: Spring 2021

Estimated completion: Fall 2021

  • Between Elmscourt Street and New Monee Road: Resurfacing.
  • ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps and culvert replacement.

I-94 from Illinois state line to the Mitchell Interchange: Reconstruct the I-94 North-South corridor.

I-39/90 interchanges: Scheduled to be the final year of the six-year project to rebuild the “gateway to Wisconsin,” to three lanes each way. Work will focus on four interchanges, with various ramp closures at I-43 just over the state line in Beloit, U.S. 14 and Wisconsin 26 in Janesville, and U.S. 12/18 near Madison. Two lanes will remain open in each direction, but motorists should anticipate lane shifts, reduced speeds and backups during peak travel times.

I-80/94 bridge projects: Work has already started causing backups in the Hammond area. Additional bridge work will be done on I-80/94 statewide throughout the summer, with occasional nighttime single-lane closures.

I-196 from Holland to Saugatuck: Drivers heading into Harbor Country should be on the lookout for reconstruction of southbound I-196. The work will divert southbound traffic onto northbound lanes, with southbound ramp closures at the Blue Star highway, and so is likely to cause substantial delays.

Sources: Illinois Department of Transportation; Illinois Tollway; Tribune reporting

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