Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2010


Contact:

Guy Tridgell 312.814.4693
Josh Kauffman 217.558.0517
 


Des Plaines River Road Upgrade Ready for Construction of New Permanent Lanes

Project Will Create Jobs, Build Safer Roadway and Improve Flow of Vehicles, Goods and Services in North Cook County

DES PLAINES - Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig, joined by local officials, announced the upcoming completion of the first stage of a major upgrade to a flood-prone stretch of Des Plaines River Road. The project, when it is finished next summer, will have created 180 jobs while easing congestion and improving safety in the northwest suburbs.

The first stage of the project involved construction of temporary lanes to carry traffic while permanent lanes are being rebuilt over the next 10 months.

“Local motorists have been driving on an outdated Des Plaines River Road for too long,” Hannig said. “By working with the impacted communities, IDOT is building a new-and-improved Des Plaines River Road that will put people to work and address important transportation and economic development needs of the area.”

Construction started in June on the $14 million project to improve the road from north of Touhy Avenue to south of Devon Avenue. The work, being done over two years, calls for widening the 1.5-mile stretch, while raising and reconstructing the road bed to protect against flooding from the Des Plaines River. A new system of curbs and gutters will be added to remove rain water more efficiently. Retaining walls and new traffic signals at Touhy and Devon avenues also will be built.

The project is unfolding in three stages. The first stage, which ends in November, involves the placement of temporary pavement to handle traffic for the remainder of the project. Starting in December, traffic will be shifted to allow for the construction of the new permanent lanes for the final two stages before the project wraps up in July 2011.

Before IDOT started work on the corridor, Des Plaines River Road was notorious for its narrow traffic lanes, lack of turning lanes and poor drainage – all factors contributing to a deteriorated road surface and a large number of accidents. Once the project is complete, jurisdiction over the upgraded section of Des Plaines River Road will be shifted from IDOT to the City of Des Plaines for future maintenance.

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