Southbound Tri-State Tollway drivers accustomed to zooming down the exit ramp onto eastbound I-90 will be out of luck Wednesday and the rest of the summer.
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is rebuilding the flyover ramp bridge and will close it this week through late fall.
Drivers are encouraged to detour onto I-190, exit at Mannheim Road south, then re-enter using the I-190 eastbound ramp and merge onto eastbound I-90.
More than 32,000 drivers a day will be affected by the road work.
“It will be a tricky detour,” tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said. “No one likes driving through construction.
“But it won't be any easier a year or two years from now. It's the right time to do the work.”
The $13 million interchange project will take two years to complete.
Repairs in 2011 include replacing the bridge deck and beams plus repairing concrete on the original structure. The construction is necessary to keep the ramp in good working condition and extend its life, officials said.
Some lane closures will be necessary on sections of I-90 and the Tri-State (I-294) as part of the construction but those will occur in off-peak hours.
In 2012, workers will begin fixing the northbound Tri-State ramp onto westbound I-90, but the bridge will not be closed and one lane of traffic will be kept open.
Lafleur said the interchange is a vital link on the tollway between Wisconsin, Indiana and Chicago, serving area drivers, tourists and interstate commerce.
Officials reminded drivers that the speed limit will be 45 mph in construction zones.
More information on the ramp closure is available at tollway oases and at the website illinoistollway.com.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.