Beware of a big construction project at a major interchange in northern Will County.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that construction of the Interstate 55-Weber Road interchange and other capacity improvements begin Thursday.
The $68 million project in Romeoville and Bolingbrook is meant to improve travel times and reduce crashes in a high-growth area, according to a news release from IDOT.
“This project will solve a longtime issue with safety and congestion along Weber Road, while helping to promote and manage economic activity and job creation in one of the state’s fastest growing areas,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said in the release.
Weather permitting, Weber Road approaching I-55 will be reduced to one lane in each direction during off-peak hours to prepare the work zone with temporary pavement, traffic signals and lighting starting Thursday. The temporary measures are required so Weber Road can remain two lanes in each direction until the project is completed in late 2021.
The closures will take place this fall and next spring between 9 a.m. and
3 p.m., with some overnight closures from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Motorists should expect delays and give extra time for trips through the area. IDOT urges motorists to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment. Additional improvements, scheduled to start in late spring, will include adding a third lane to each direction of Weber Road between 135th Street/Romeo Road and 119th Street/Rodeo Road, with modernized traffic signals and a barrier median.
The interchange will be rebuilt into a diverging diamond design, the second by IDOT in the Chicago area. It essentially routes traffic to the opposite side of the road and eliminates left turns across traffic. The design has helped to cut the number of crashes in half in some locations, according to IDOT. A second Weber Road bridge will be built over I-55 to accommodate the new design.