Construction crews start preparations Thursday on a $69 million Route 47 interchange project that will open the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) to the west for Huntley area residents.
Currently, the Route 47 and I-90 interchange is only a partial one, limited to drivers traveling to and from the east.
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The full interchange is 50 percent funded by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority with the remainder coming from the state, Huntley plus Kane and McHenry counties.
The project involves six new ramps, rebuilding the bridge over I-90 and widening 1.5 miles of Route 47. It should by complete in summer 2013.
This week, crews will begin work on the I-90 median shoulder. Overnight I-90 lane closures will go into effect Monday, and bridge construction will start midweek. One lane will remain open in each direction on Route 47 in the construction zone. Initial work on the ramps involves removing trees and relocating utility lines.
The rebuilt interchange will allow motorists to go west on I-90 from Huntley and permit eastbound drivers to exit onto Route 47.
Huntley officials expect the change to spur retail and businesses development in the surrounding area. It also will enable more shoppers to easily access the Huntley Outlet Center. The new ramp could bring in about $3 million in tolls in 2014, officials estimate.
For more on the construction, go to illinoistollway.com/construction-and-planning/projects