$112.6 million project Central Tri-State Tollway resurfacing began April 2

The Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Resurfacing Project between 95th Street in Oak Lawn, Ill., and Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont, Ill. began on April 2.

Work includes roadway repairs and resurfacing the 19-mile section between 95th Street and Franklin Avenue in Franklin Park with a new layer of asphalt and concrete repairs on the three-mile section from Franklin Avenue to Balmoral Avenue to extend the life of the roadway and provide a new, smooth surface. The project also includes repairs to 54 bridge structures throughout the corridor. The $112.6 million project will be complete in late fall 2012.

“The Central Tri-State is one of the heavily traveled sections on the Tollway system, so most of the work will be done during overnight hours when traffic is lighter and fewer drivers will be impacted,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in a written press statement. “We remind drivers to obey construction workzone speed limits at all times and be aware of workers so we can safely deliver these improvements to our customers.”

The majority of the work on the Central Tri-State project will be done during overnight hours to minimize the impact to traffic in this highly-traveled corridor that is used by up to 190,000 vehicles a day.

The Tollway will use traffic shifts and shoulders to keep as many lanes open during peak hours as were available before construction. Four lanes in both directions will be maintained during daytime hours and all lane closures will be scheduled during overnight hours.Traffic shifts at the bridges will provide a long-term work zone while keeping four lanes open to traffic during peak hours.

The corridor includes pavement constructed in 1958, 1972 and 1992. While older segments of pavement have been repaired and resurfaced numerous times, this will be the first resurfacing of the newer pavement sections.

Initial work on the project includes pre-stage work to remove the rumble strips and repair the shoulders in both directions before shifting traffic to create work zones.

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Once pre-stage work is complete, pavement milling and repair work will begin during overnight hours in the section between 95th Street and Franklin Avenue. Lanes will reopen in time for the morning rush with drivers traveling on milled lanes in the sections that were milled the night before. Pavement levels may be uneven and drivers should use caution while changing lanes. Once a section is milled, resurfacing work will place a 2-inch layer of new asphalt on the roadway during overnight hours.

Work on the section from Franklin Avenue to Balmoral Avenue includes full-depth concrete patching. This work will be done during overnight hours using traffic shifts to create work zones. Lanes will be reopened in time for the morning rush.

Bridge Work

Some bridge work will take place during daytime hours in protected work zones, but no lanes will be closed except during overnight hours. Bridge work includes joint replacement, pier repairs, partial-depth patching and minimal structural repairs.

While the majority of the 54 bridge structures that will be repaired are Tollway bridges over other roads and waterways, there are several local roads that will see some impacts from this project. Lane and/or shoulder closures are expected on 88th Avenue and St. Charles Road over I-294 and on LaGrange Road and Wolf Road under I-294.

The Illinois Tollway is coordinating work with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Cook County Highway Department, DuPage County Division of Transportation, Canadian National Railroad, Burlington Northern Railroad, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, the United States Coast Guard, as well as numerous utilities and municipalities along the corridor.

Work Zone Safety

A 45 mph speed limit is in effect 24/7 in all construction zones, whether or not workers are present. Drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns, milled surfaces, uneven pavement levels and traffic shifts at bridges 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.

Building Green

The Illinois Tollway Authority says it is committed to “Building Green” and minimizing the environmental impact of construction by reducing, recycling and reusing materials. The new asphalt overlay on the Tri-State Tollway will incorporate recycled materials including warm mix asphalt, reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), 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 the volume of material that would otherwise be sent to landfills.