Delays at two major intersections along the $52.5 million Butterfield Road widening project are expected to last until late fall, officials said.
Traffic from the project has been clogging the major arteries around the Danada shopping centers in Wheaton for some time, but became even worse recently when motorists were funneled into one lane in each direction on a stretch of Naperville Road.
The lane closures at the busy intersection of Naperville and Butterfield roads are expected to last until mid-October, Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Guy Tridgell said. Motorists are using the southbound lanes while crews rebuild the northbound lanes.
The same configuration is playing out at the intersection of Winfield and Butterfield roads. Additional lanes won't be opening there until all of the new lanes on Butterfield Road are open, probably around Nov. 1, Tridgell said.
The additional closures went into effect now that work at the intersection of Route 59 and Butterfield Road in Warrenville is complete, Tridgell said.
"We did not want to compromise capacity at three north-south intersections at one time," Tridgell said. "So the work at the intersections was staggered."
The state is widening a six-mile stretch of Butterfield Road into a four-lane divided highway with a grass median from Naperville Road to just west of Route 59. Major intersections are getting makeovers with additional turn lanes and modernized traffic signals.
Most of the work is expected to be finished by November, Tridgell said, with some landscaping and surface work continuing into next year.
In response to the snarled traffic, the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce is planning to offer its members in the Danada area substantial discounts on chamber advertising, said Kerry O'Brien, member relations manager.
O'Brien developed the plan for more than 75 members in the area after getting tangled in the traffic mess driving her daughter to cross-country practice.
"I know this is tense at this point," O'Brien said.
But Danada businesses, faced with the challenge of customers being turned off by the congestion and shopping elsewhere, have been adjusting since the road project began in May 2011 by offering promotions and installing additional signs, O'Brien said.
Chamber officials also had the Butterfield project in mind when they decided to move their Stuff-A-Truck event, set for late October, from the north side of Wheaton to the Illinois Institute of Technology campus near Rice Lake Square, just east of Butterfield and Naperville roads.
The chamber previously held the Make a Difference Day event at the former Hubble Middle School property, where a Mariano's Fresh Market grocery store is scheduled to open next year.
"We consciously chose to move there (IIT) because we thought that would be the best thing for our members, just to bring something positive and fun that they can participate in and get more traffic down there for shoppers and the community," O'Brien said.