Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2008


Contact:


Mike Claffey 312-814-3957
Marisa Kollias 312-814-4693


IDOT: Edens/I-94 Rehab Project Will Close One Lane In Each Direction Until Late Summer

Drivers urged to allow extra time; Project will fix six bridges and extend the life of the Edens

SCHAUMBURG – The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that, weather permitting, starting on Friday, April 4, it will begin putting into effect the closure of one lane in each direction along the entire length of the Edens Expressway/Interstate 94.

These permanent lane closures will be in place through July north of Old Orchard Rd. and through August south of Old Orchard Rd., weather permitting. The closures are required to complete work on the second and final phase of the Edens Rehabilitation Project, which includes patching and resurfacing six bridge decks and resurfacing all three lanes of the entire length of the14-mile expressway from Lawrence Ave. to Lake Cook Rd.

“IDOT understands that this project will create short term inconvenience for drivers who normally use the Edens Expressway,” said IDOT Chief of Staff Clayton Harris III. “We want the public to know that our goal is to extend the life of the Edens and to delay the need for a major reconstruction of the Expressway. The roadway was reconstructed in the late 1970s and this recent winter provided ample evidence that the roadway is deteriorating. There was a major hole in one of the bridge decks on Feb. 8 and numerous potholes that required emergency patching. Public safety and common sense dictate that we take action now to delay the need for what would be an extremely costly and disruptive reconstruction project.”

Harris said that Illinois State Police will be strictly enforcing the 45 mile per hour work zone speed limit, both for the safety of construction workers and motorists. Police will use squad cars, motorcycle patrols and mobile photo enforcement vans to patrol the work zone.

IDOT advises drivers to avoid the Edens if possible. IDOT also recommends car pooling and using mass transit. Drivers who must use the Edens should allow extra time, especially during the rush hours.

Deputy Director of Highways and Region 1 Engineer Diane O’Keefe said that the full-length closure of the expressway is governed by the fact that six bridges will be undergoing rehabilitation at the same time. These are the bridges over the Skokie River, over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, over Golf Rd., over Forest Glen Ave. over the North Branch of the Chicago River and over Cicero Ave.

“We want the public to understand that the full-length closure is required because we are going to have six bridge rehab projects underway that will reduce the Edens to only two lanes in each direction,” O’Keefe said. “We also have to patch and resurface the roadway in between these bridges. Instead of having a series of closures and bottlenecks, it is much safer for us to put a single configuration in place that drivers can be accustomed to. Even if at times there is no visible work going on in sections of the expressway, we want drivers to understand this lane configuration is necessary for their safety and for the efficient flow of traffic.”

Once IDOT starts putting the lane closures into effect after midnight Thursday into Friday April 4, it will take several days and nights to get traffic into the complete configuration for Stage 1. During this stage, cars will be driving on the right lane and the shoulder.

In Stage 2, this configuration will flip, and cars will be using the left and center lane, while the right lane and shoulder will be closed.

In Stage 3, from the end of July through the end of September, weather permitting, there will be three lanes open in each direction on the Edens Expressway north of Old Orchard Road except for during overnight hours, when two lanes will be closed for the final phase of resurfacing and one lane will remain open.

The Edens south of Old Orchard Road will have three lanes open in each direction during the daytime starting at the end of August, with the nighttime closures continuing until the end of September.

The project will also involve drainage modifications at the Foster Ave., Pratt St., Willow Road and Winnetka Road underpasses.

As of last fall, IDOT permanently expanded the service area for IDOT’s Emergency Traffic Patrol service from Lake St. to Lake Cook Rd., at the northern terminus of the Edens. These increased patrols will help to ensure that emergency lane blockages are removed as quickly as possible.

The contractor for the $42.8 million project is Plote Inc.

More information about the Edens project is available online at www.edensi94.com

 

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