Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October  20, 2010

CONTACT:
Josh Kauffman 217.558.0517
Guy Tridgell 312.814.4693

Illinois 59 Widening in Will County Nears Finish Line

 Expansion Project Improves Safety, Creates 1,150 Jobs

PLAINFIELD - Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig was joined today by local officials to announce that the bulk of a two-year, $89 million project to add lanes to Illinois 59 through Will County will be finished later this fall. The project created or retained more than 1,150 construction jobs.

“Illinois 59 serves a high-growth area that demands a safe, modern roadway,” Hannig said. “We are pleased to be finishing with this stage of an important project so the economic development and job growth continues in Will County.”

In 2008, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) started converting the 7.3 miles of the busy two-lane, undivided highway to a four-lane highway with a median between Interstate 55 and U.S. 30. Reconstructing the interchange between Illinois 59 and I-55 also required improving 1.25 miles of the interstate.

Illinois 59 carries between 25,000 and 38,000 vehicles a day through Joliet, Shorewood and Plainfield. The road is being reconstructed to provide two lanes in each direction, with dedicated turn lanes and modernized traffic signals at all major intersections. This will provide a boon to area businesses by improving access and will ease congestion in residential areas.

Additional work through the first half of next year will continue widening Illinois 59 from Union Street just south of U.S. 30 to Illinois 126.

Construction has unfolded in stages, starting with the bridge replacement over the DuPage River north of Caton Farm Road that was completed in August. The new lanes between Union Street and Caton Farm Road and the rebuilt I-55 interchange debuted earlier this month. The additional lanes on Illinois 59 between Caton Farm Road and U.S. 52 are expected to completed in the next few weeks.

The Illinois 59 project was financed through a mix of federal and state dollars, with the state contribution leveraging the federal funds. Local contributions helped pay for new sidewalks, street lighting, sewers, water mains and a portion of the traffic signals.

The state currently is leading the largest road construction program in Illinois history through Gov. Pat Quinn’s six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. In 2010, IDOT is investing almost $5 billion to repair or improve 2,450 miles of roads and 331 bridges, creating or retaining an estimated 65,000 jobs.

For more information about other road construction in IDOT’s District One, visit www. http://www.dot.state.il.us/road/update.html

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