Installation of a new traffic signal at Aurora Avenue and Webster Street in downtown Naperville has begun as the Water Street District edges toward opening this fall.
Crews started work Monday on the signal that will control traffic on the southwest side of the 2.3-acre development that will include a hotel, banquet center, shops, restaurants, Riverwalk improvements, a plaza, a fountain, an art wall and a parking garage.
Installation is expected to cause daily lane closures and traffic delays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Aurora Avenue, but the road will remain open in both directions.
As work began Monday, crews from Thorne Electric of Carol Stream started drilling foundations for the signal posts and threading conduit under the street, said Bill Novack, the city's director of transportation, engineering and development.
The $347,429 signal is part of $7.3 million the city is spending this year on infrastructure improvements to the site of what's been called a "game-changing" development on the south side of the downtown.
The signal will be one of "convenience and safe access" for Water Street hotel guests and shoppers, Novack said.
It will control traffic two blocks west of a signal at Aurora Avenue and Washington Street and one block east of another signal at Aurora and Eagle Street. While drivers could face the prospect of another red light, Novack said the signal will improve safety for people on foot -- especially those crossing Aurora to go to the Naper Settlement museum on the south side of the street.
"Having this one closer to their front door and entrance provides a great convenience for their visitors and employees," Novack said.