Setting up barricades to control traffic and relocating utilities to prepare the work zone were some of the first tasks Monday as crews began a two-year widening project on Route 59 in Naperville and Aurora.
Work began less than two weeks after the Illinois Department of Transportation granted the final contracts in the nearly $90 million project, but 11 years after Naperville-area officials began asking for Route 59 to be widened to three lanes between Ferry Road and Aurora Avenue/New York Street.
Contractors are starting at the north end of the 3.5-mile project and drivers can expect to see more barricades being installed there in the coming days, said Bill Novack, Naperville's director of transportation, engineering and development.
Work on the southern leg of the segment, between North Aurora Road and Aurora Avenue/New York Street, is expected to begin in a few weeks, Novack said.
The project will improve traffic signal coordination and create extra left-turn lanes at Diehl Road, North Aurora Road, Jefferson Avenue/Liberty Street and Aurora Avenue/New York Street. One of the first "diverging diamond" interchanges in the state will be built where Route 59 meets I-88 to eliminate most left turns across opposing traffic and keep cars flowing more steadily.
Drivers are encouraged to leave extra time or seek alternate routes on arterial roadways such as Eola Road to the west, Raymond Drive to the east and Ferry Road to the north. Work is expected to be complete by late summer or fall 2015.