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updated: 6/3/2014 7:50 PM

Portions of Route 59 in Naperville to be closed over weekend

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A portion of Route 59 in Naperville will be closed in both directions for three days beginning Friday night near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad underpass to allow crews to install a box culvert beneath the often-congested state road, city officials said Tuesday.

Officials said crews plan to close the road in that area at 9 p.m. Friday, and it's not scheduled to reopen until Monday morning, June 9.

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Bill Novack, Naperville's director of transportation, engineering and planning, called this closure the "first major curveball" of the two-year nearly $90 million project, which otherwise is running on schedule.

"We don't like having to shut the whole thing down," Novack said about the busy north-south road. "The silver lining is it's one weekend and it's done."

A detour will direct drivers to use Ogden Avenue via North Aurora Road and Aurora Avenue, officials said in a news release. Local traffic will be permitted on Route 59 between Glacier Park Avenue and Aurora Avenue. Novack said he expects those three streets to see "quite a bit of traffic."

A map of the detour is available at www.naperville.il.us/route59expansion.aspx.

The closure is necessary to allow workers to install a culvert to carry a creek under the road, officials said in the news release. Original plans called for the road to remain open during the culvert work, but officials said "unforeseen conditions" made that impossible.

Novack said the plan was to install the culvert in two stages -- one stage now while half of the lanes are closed, and the other stage later while the other lanes are under construction. But it would have been difficult to line up the culvert under the road in two stages, And if it rained heavily while only half of the culvert was installed, Novack said it might not properly handle the water.

The overall Route 59 project includes work along a three-mile stretch from Ferry Road to Aurora Avenue/New York Street along with improvements at the intersections with Diehl Road, North Aurora Road and Aurora Avenue/New York Street.

Plans call for the road to be widened to three lanes in each direction with additional and longer turn lanes.

The project also includes a diverging diamond configuration on the bridge over Interstate 88 that designers say will enhance safety and traffic flow.

Work on the Route 59 project began last summer and is scheduled for completion in 2015. It is being funded primarily by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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