Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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Project Overview

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plans to rehabilitate and reconstruct the Interstate 55 at Central Avenue interchange. IDOT will begin construction on Friday, September 9. IDOT plans to widen and replace the bridge deck over Interstate 55 to convert the interchange to a single point interchange. This project will include pavement replacement on the ramps and roadways connected with Central Avenue. IDOT will replace traffic signals, install new traffic signals, and improve lighting throughout the project area.

The start of the project will require reducing Central Avenue to one lane in each direction over the expressway until the new interchange and bridge are completed in summer 2013. By the morning of Monday, Sept. 12, weather permitting, the outbound I-55 exit ramp to Central Avenue and the inbound I-55 entrance ramp from Central Avenue will be closed for the next year while the ramps are rebuilt.

Detour routes will be posted. Central Avenue motorists wishing to access inbound I-55 will be directed to 39th and 47th streets to use the Cicero Avenue entrance ramp. Outbound I-55 motorists wishing to access Central Avenue will directed to the Cicero Avenue exit to reach Central Avenue via 39th and 47th streets.

The work zone for the project’s first phase will be permanently in place, weather permitting, by Friday, Sept. 16. A left turn lane for northbound Central Avenue traffic exiting to outbound I-55 will be maintained, though no left turn lane will be available for southbound Central Avenue traffic to inbound I-55 because of the ramp closure. No lanes closures on I-55 are anticipated at this time, though some shoulder closures will be scheduled later in the project.

Motorists should expect delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. Please obey the speed limit, observe closure signs and remain alert for workers. To avoid construction, IDOT recommends Central Avenue motorists use 47th Street, Cicero Avenue and 39th Street as an alternate route.

The interchange between Central Avenue and I-55 will be rebuilt into a single-point urban interchange. The same design is at the I-55 interchanges with Pulaski Road and Damen Avenue.

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