Interstate 90/39 is seen from the Elevator Road bridge near Roscoe Friday. The southbound lanes have been expanded to three lanes, while, to the right, the northbound lanes still are just two lanes. Plans are to make the interstate a six-lane road on both sides of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line.
The $180 million widening construction project on Interstate 90 between the state line and Rockford is halfway done and on schedule for a 2009 completion, according to Illinois Tollway officials.
For three weeks now, eastbound drivers have traveled on three newly constructed lanes on the 12 miles between the South Beloit Toll Plaza and State Street in Rockford.
“The Illinois Tollway recognizes that keeping work in the corridor on track is critical to community leaders' efforts to attract new development and eliminate a major bottleneck for truckers and commuters in our region,” said Illinois Tollway Director and Rockford resident Carl Towns.
Drivers still may face delays, though.
According to the Illinois Tollway, portions of I-90 have faced overnight closures.
Most recently, one lane in each direction between Illinois Route 173 and Prairie Hill Road closed for 12 to 16 hours beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday. At midnight, the westbound lanes closed for 15 minutes.
Daily construction alerts are available online at www.illinoistollway.com.
The 16-mile Jane Addams Memorial Tollway project also includes the reconfiguration of the Cherry Valley interchange at I-90 and Interstate 39.
Advance work on the interchange began in 2007, and mainline construction started last spring. Everything should be done by the end of 2009, according to the Illinois Tollway.
The work on I-90 is part of the Illinois Tollway's Congestion-Relief Program, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich launched in 2005. The improvements - including rebuilding and expanding highways and converting 20 toll plazas to Open Road Tolling - should reduce travel times.
Rumblings of widening I-90 on the Wisconsin side between the Stateline and Madison also have begun.
Connections 2030, a long-range multimodal transportation plan created by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, includes the corridor between Beloit and Madison.
According to a draft of the Beloit-to-Madison plan, the state plans to complete a corridor plan from the Stateline to U.S. Highway 12/18 in addition to studying a few interchanges. Depending on environmental documents, among other factors, future projects could include adding interstate lanes and reconstructing interchanges.
It does not state a timeline for the I-90/39 project.