The Return to Normal: Illinois Construction

The Return to Normal: Illinois Construction
The Return to Normal: Illinois Construction

The upcoming summer construction season is anticipated to look a lot different from last year’s. The start of the pandemic kept vacationers at home as travelers traded car and airplane seats for the couch. It wasn’t the summer any of us had imagined, but it proved to be great for Illinois construction.

With fewer people on the road, road construction projects were able to stay on time and on budget— a rarity in the state of Illinois. However, while construction crews thrived, most other sectors of the economy suffered. To help create jobs and revitalize local economies, Illinois passed the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois bill. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), “Rebuild Illinois will make $45 billion worth of investments in roads, bridges, railroads, universities, early childhood centers and state facilities over the next six years.” This historic bill, combined with declining infection rates and increasing vaccination rates, will create one of the busiest construction seasons in Illinois to date.

It is important to note that Illinois law requires motorists to exercise increased care while driving in construction zones, and consequentially, fines for common traffic violations like speeding or distracted driving also significantly increase in work zones. To help you safely navigate the roads this summer, listed below are a few projects to look out for in the Chicagoland area. As always, drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment.

Illinois Route 83 Resurfacing

The resurfacing of Illinois Route 83 (Kingery Highway/Busse Road), from north of the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290), in Elmhurst, to Irving Park Road (Illinois 19), in Bensenville, passing through Addison and Wood Dale, will begin April 26th, 2021, and is expected to be completed in late November.

According to IDOT, motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area.. Read more here.

Arlington Heights Road Resurfacing

The resurfacing of Arlington Heights Road, from Higgins Road (Illinois 72), to Palatine Road, in Arlington Heights, will begin May 3rd, 2021, and is expected to be completed in late October. Drivers should expect intermittent road closures along the 5-mile stretch. Read more here.

Illinois Route 137 Resurfacing

The resurfacing of Illinois Route 137 from Russell Road, in Winthrop Harbor, to Greenwood Road, in Waukegan, passing through Beach Park and Zion, will begin April 26th, 2021, and is expected to be completed in November. The project consists of resurfacing the 7.5 mile stretch of Illinois 137 and constructing new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps. Read more here.

Maple/Gougar Intersection

Improvements to the intersection of Maple Road (U.S. 6) and Gougar Road, in New Lenox and Joliet, will begin the week of April 18th, 2021 and the work is expected to be completed in November. The project will reconstruct the existing four-way stop intersection to a signalized intersection with dedicated turn lanes, new lighting and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps. Read more here.

Red and Purple Line Modernization

While not funded by the Rebuild Illinois bill, the City of Chicago’s major CTA reconstruction project is accelerating on the North Side. On May 16, 2021, the Lawrence, Berwyn, Argyle and Bryn Mawr stations will close until the end of 2024 while new stations are built. According to Crain’s, “anyone living or traveling through the area will be in the middle of a construction zone.” Read more about the project here.

While construction can be an inconvenience and an eyesore, it’s nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel— even if that light is a sign that reads “roadwork ahead.”

To learn more on how to stay safe while driving in a construction zone, read tips from McNabola Law Group’s founder Mark McNabola.

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