DeKALB – Starting Monday, the ramp connecting Annie Glidden Road to westbound Interstate 88 will be closed for about six weeks as part of reconstruction work by the Illinois Tollway.
It will be the first of a summer season of ramp closures at the interchange, an Illinois Tollway spokesman said Tuesday.
The tollway is working to resurface and rebuild ramps and bridges at six interchanges on I-88 between Route 251 in Rochelle and Orchard Road in Aurora. This work is part of Move Illinois, a 15-year, $14 billion capital program to improve mobility, reduce pollution and create as many as 120,000 jobs throughout the region.
Tollway spokesman Dan Rozek said the project is expected to keep the interchange operating safely for at least 15 years.
“The Illinois Tollway is user-funded and receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations, so the Annie Glidden Road interchange project will proceed this year regardless of the status of the state’s budget,” Rozek said.
All four ramps connecting I-88 to Annie Glidden Road will be rebuilt. Bridge deck repairs on the bridge connecting Annie Glidden Road and eastbound I-88 also are scheduled.
Once the work at the westbound I-88 entrance ramp is complete, which is expected to be sometime in May, the other three ramps at the interchange simultaneously will close with traffic once again routed to the Peace Road Interchange.
Rozek said that to reduce traffic problems, the three ramps will not close until after Northern Illinois University’s spring semester ends and NIU graduation ceremonies have been held.
“We expect the reconstruction of those three ramps and other improvements at the interchange to be completed before NIU’s fall semester begins in August,” Rozek said.
Maps and reconstruction information about the interchange improvements are available on the Illinois Tollway website under “Projects Overview” in the Explore Projects section.
DeKalb Public Works Director Tim Holdeman said he had been advised that traffic would increase about
10 percent along the detour route during the reconstruction.
“We are really just going to monitor the situation,” Holdeman said. “We have confidence that their signage and the way that traffic is detoured is going to be effective.”
Holdeman said that residents with any concerns over traffic from the reconstruction can call the public works department at 815-748-2030.
The Illinois Tollway reminds motorists that construction zone speed limits will be in effect in all construction zones, and drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and exercise caution when workers are present. On I-88, a 45 mph speed limit will be enforced in work zones throughout the construction season.
Once the interchange work concludes, Holdeman said the city will be able to execute a plan to widen lanes and install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Annie Glidden and Fairview Drive.
The local project will cost an estimated $1.1 million and will go out to bid in late April. Holdeman said he does not expect traffic to be fully closed at the intersection while this project is underway.
“The project is really driven by safety and the need to enhance that intersection by creating turn lanes both north and south and east and west,” Holdeman said. “The condition of the road was also pretty poor.”
About $780,000 in federal funding has been earmarked for the project.
“This is the gateway to our city,” Holdeman said. “People come off the tollway and the first thing they see will be a very nice intersection, which will kind of set the tone for coming into the city, and I think that’s very important.”