Summer Slowdown: Major Illinois Roadways set for major construction projects

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This week, WGN’s Sarah Jindra is talking to the region’s top transportation officials about the slowdowns commuters can expect on the roads and rails.  The head of IDOT didn’t agree to an interview for the series.  However, IDOT’s head engineer and project manager sat down with us for Thursday’s piece to discuss what drivers can expect on the state’s roads.

Here’s a look at the major projects IDOT is working on:



  • Work will continue on building the new flyover ramp from NB Dan Ryan to WB I-290. When done at the end of the year, drivers will have a 2 lane ramp, as opposed to the current 1 lane ramp.
  • The ramps from I-55 to the NB Dan Ryan are currently reduced to one lane for the flyover ramp work. That lane reduction will stay in place until the end of the year when the new flyover ramp is set to open.
  • The ramp from EB I-290 to SB Dan Ryan is currently down to one lane for bridge work associated with the interchange project. IDOT hopes to have that open to 2 lanes by the end of the summer.
  • This Fall, IDOT will begin working to reconstruct 290 between the Post Office and Racine. It will start on the WB side and then move to the EB side.  The full scope work is expected to take the next about 4 years to complete.

Bridge work associated with the interchange project:

  • Morgan – Work Completed Fall 2014
  •  Peoria --  Work Completed Fall 2015
  •  Harrison – Work Completed Spring 2016
  • Halsted- Set for completion Summer 2016
  •  Taylor- Set for completion Fall 2016
  •  Monroe, Adams, Jackson, VanBuren – Start Dates pending




  • IDOT is currently reconstruction 6 bridges at the interchange.
  • SB LSD to I-55 will become a 2 lane ramp
  • Lane closures on the ramps will linger until the project is complete in late Summer/Fall of 2017




IDOT is planning to resurface I-55 between I-355 and I-294 later this fall. The majority of work will be done during the night.



  • This summer, drivers can expect lane closures and full closures of the Kennedy express lanes on nights and weekends.
  • Crews will be upgrading signs and working on cameras.
  • Work is set to start this summer and will end by the Fall.



  • Last year, IDOT worked on SB IL-171 and this year, it’s working on NB IL-171 between 55th and 44th.
  • Ramp closures are currently in place from NB  & SB I-55 to NB IL-171
  • Work is expected to be done by the Fall of 2016.


LaGrange Rd Construction: 179th – 131st

LaGrange Rd work from 179th to 159th is substantially complete.  Crews are still working on the lanes between 159th and 131st. IDOT hopes to be done with the pavement there by the end of 2016 when the road will open up to 3 lanes each direction.


IDOT has been studying ways to improve congestion on I-55 between I-355 and LSD.  It has chosen to present an “Express Toll Lane” as its preferred method of easing that congestion. In an ETL, drivers could pay a toll to ride in the median lane to avoid traffic.  Pricing for the tolls would be dynamic, meaning drivers would pay more if congestion is heavier.

  • The Pace “Bus On Shoulder” would still operate in that median along with ETL traffic.
  • Public Hearing May 17 at Holiday Inn Countryside, 4-7 p.m.
  • Implementation wouldn’t begin for at least another 2-3 years.  If it goes well, you could see a similar “managed lane” concept on I-290 in the future.


The Illinois Department of Transportation has numerous projects ongoing across the state. For more information on specific projects near you, click the following link:


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