’Tis the season for road construction in Will County.
The Will County Department of Transportation oversees about 255 miles of roadway, said Jeff Ronaldson, the county’s director of transportation.
Ronaldson said typically the county DOT focuses on two or three big projects a year, not counting maintenance jobs. Of the almost $9 million the county makes annually from its motor fuel tax, about 75% of that goes toward maintaining roads.
The headline project in Will County is converting the Weber Road and Interstate 55 interchange, in Romeoville and near Bolingbrook, into a diverging diamond design.
The interchange design will be the second of its kind in the Chicago area, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Ronaldson said that in terms of cost and timeline, the revamping of the interchange is the biggest project the county DOT has done.
The village of Romeoville, the village of Bolingbrook and Will County are working together to get the $68 million project done by late 2021. The design is meant to improve traffic flow and safety through the increasingly busy interchange.
The other big project that Will County is involved in this year is pavement preservation on Arsenal Road between Baseline Road and Magnolia Lane in Elwood.
Ronaldson said there has been some utility relocation delays, and there is no firm deadline yet as to when they will be resolved. The project is not meant to expand Arsenal Road, which is two lanes.
With the state legislature passing a $45 billion capital bill in which multiple Will County-based projects are receiving funding, Ronaldson said he will look for more needed infrastructure upgrades in the future.
“When that funding becomes available and starts entering into the county bank accounts, we would be advancing several projects in our improvement program,” Ronaldson said.
There is a list of 16 major projects Will County would like to do in the future.
One of those projects includes further expansion of Weber Road. The current project will expand Weber to three lanes in both directions from 119th Street/Rodeo Road in Bolingbrook to 135th Street/Romeo Road in Romeoville. Ronaldson said, with more funding, the expansion would extend farther south to the intersection of Weber Road and Airport Road.