Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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Willow Road Widening Website
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Contract # 60T35 From Illinois Route 43 (Waukegan Road) to I-94

Proposed work

The scope of work for the reconstruction project includes the following:

  • Willow Road between IL Route 43 (Waukegan Road) and I-94

    • Reconstruct Willow Road to two lanes in each direction separated by a median.

    • Construction of a 5’ to 7’ wide sidewalk.

  • I-94 Westbound exiting to Eastbound Willow Road

    • The ramp terminal at Willow Road will be re-aligned.

    • The exit ramp along I-94 will be widened and reconstructed to provide an additional 1,500 feet of auxiliary lane.

  • Eastbound Willow Road exiting to eastbound I-94 towards Chicago

    • The entrance ramp along I-94 will be widened and reconstructed to provide an additional 1,000 feet of auxiliary lane.

  • Illinois Route 43 – The Roadway will be reconstructed within the intersection of Willow Road for an approximate distance of 1,925 feet and it will provide dual left turn lanes and separate right turn lanes along all four legs of the Willow Road intersection.

  • Sunset Ridge Road – the south leg will be reconstructed for approximately 160 feet.

  • Wagner Road – the south leg will be reconstructed for approximately 160 feet.

  • Traffic signal modernization at Willow Road and IL Route 43, Fox Meadow Drive/Three Lakes Drive, Sunset Ridge Road, Wagner Road, Old Willow Road/Northfield Road and Central Avenue/Happ Road.

  • A pedestrian only signal will be installed on Willow Road at Churchill Street.

  • Pedestrian Safety Features- Continuous sidewalks, Pedestrian push buttons, pedestrian countdown timers. safety islands, lighting, compact corner radii.

  • The traffic signals will be interconnected.

  • Intersection lighting will be provided at Willow Road and Fox Meadow Drive/Three Lakes Drive, Sunset Ridge Road, Wagner Road and at the pedestrian only signal.

  • Roadway lighting is included along Willow Road in the Northfield downtown area between Old Willow/Northfield Road intersection and east of the Central Avenue/Happ Road intersection.

  • Drainage improvements including enclosed storm sewers, ditch/swale modifications, storm water detention and water quality swales.

  • Water main and sanitary sewer improvements are proposed.

  • The existing bridge will be completely reconstructed over the Middle Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River.

  • The existing bridge over the Edens Expressway will be modified to reconstruct the south sidewalk and parapet.

  • Landscaping/Aesthetics: Aesthetics improvements are planned throughout the Willow Road corridor with special emphasis in the downtown area. Aesthetic features include decorative traffic signals, light poles, paver sidewalks (in the downtown area), and an enhanced river crossing bridge design. In addition, landscaping is planned along the parkways and within the raised medians to reflect the character of the community, with intense planting areas at gateway locations. Approximately 1,300 trees/shrubs and over 12,000 perennials will be planted along this 2-mile corridor.

Maintenance of Traffic

  • Anticipating three stages of construction. The first phase will have utility work and pavement reconstruction occurring on the north side of Willow Road.

  • One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained along Willow Road and IL Route 43.

  • The work along the I-94 will keep all lanes open to traffic.

Project Schedule

  • Current project letting is January 2013 with anticipated project completion in Fall 2014.

Project Coordination

This project has been coordinated with the following municipalities and agencies:

  • Village of Northfield

  • Village of Glenview

  • Village of Northbrook

  • Village of Winnetka

Project Benefits

  • Improved safety.

  • Increased capacity.

  • Improved pedestrian/bicyclist facilities.


These renderings are available for viewing from our Phase I project website -


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