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updated: 7/24/2012 6:03 PM

Heat delays Route 53 work but not deadline

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  • Work continues on resurfacing of Route 53 in Addison and Itasca. Here, workers install reinforcements for new pavement north of Army Trail Road.

       Work continues on resurfacing of Route 53 in Addison and Itasca. Here, workers install reinforcements for new pavement north of Army Trail Road.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 

The $45.5 million project to reconstruct Route 53 in parts of Addison and Itasca is on pace to meet its latest deadline, despite snags caused by, among other things, extreme heat.

Crews fell eight months behind early in the project because of problems moving utilities, officials said, pushing the deadline to October 2013. Actual construction began almost a year ago.

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The project, overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation, will rebuild Route 53 -- known locally as Rohlwing Road -- between Army Trail Road in Addison and the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway in Itasca.

Crews are building a second lane in both directions and adding a middle lane and medians to accommodate left turns along roughly four miles. The intersections at Army Trail Road, Lake Street and Irving Park Road will include additional through lanes, left-turn lanes, barrier medians and modern signals.

"We were hoping they'd be down to Centennial Park by now, but this oppressive heat has been tough," Addison Public Works Director Mitch Patterson said. "If we had our normal 80- to 85-degree heat, they'd be down there already."

In late June, workers had to stop a concrete pour due to a problem with one of the additives in the mix, Patterson said, coupled with the heat of that particular day. So workers took up the small amount of concrete they had poured and rescheduled for the next week.

But the second pour was canceled July 6 due solely to the heat wave.

"Unlike when you're pouring a patio or driveway, street concrete has minimum amounts of water as an additive," Patterson said. "So if it gets too hot and the ambient temperature is above about 90 degrees or the temperature of the roadway is very hot, you can't pour because it won't give you any time to work with the concrete."

Late last week workers were able to pour some concrete, and IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said another pour along Route 53 and some nearby side streets is scheduled for next week.

"All of this is dependent on weather," Tridgell said.

The next expected challenge is the PGA Ryder Cup, which will be at the nearby Medinah Country Club from Sept. 25-30. The international golf event is expected to attract nearly 40,000 people a day, most from out of town.

Tridgell said IDOT will suspend work for those six days. Timing between traffic signals also is being reviewed and may be altered to make driving more efficient based on the heavy traffic influx.

The entire Route 53 project was launched to accommodate heavy traffic flow on the road and reduce a high accident rate, officials said.

Other project features include new curbs, gutters, sidewalks and an improved stormwater drainage system. Sound walls are being added at intermittent locations.

In addition, workers are replacing the existing water main in Addison. The village is contributing roughly $2.3 million toward expenses for the water main, sidewalks, streetlights and traffic signals.

For details on the project, including a map of the work zone, visit dot.il.gov/il53/index.html.

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