New work begins Wednesday along Route 59 in Naperville, Aurora
The nearly $90 million, two-year Route 59 expansion project in Naperville and Aurora is taking another step forward, but commuters might feel like it's in reverse.
Starting Wednesday, crews hired by the Illinois Department of Transportation plan to reduce the northbound side of Route 59 to one lane under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks between Jefferson Avenue/Liberty Street and North Aurora Road. Two lanes will remain open heading south.
Then, starting May 4, crews are scheduled to reduce North Aurora Road to one lane in each direction at Route 59.
Naperville officials are warning commuters to expect long delays in the construction zone, which stretches roughly three miles from Ferry Road on the north to Aurora Avenue/New York Street on the south. Drivers are encouraged to allow more time to get through the area or adjust their routes if possible to avoid congestion.
The project, which began in August 2013, will widen Route 59 to three lanes, add new turn lanes, extend existing turn lanes, restrict or eliminate access from side streets and driveways to improve traffic flow and add sidewalks and bike paths in many locations. Intersections including those at Diehl Road, North Aurora Road and Aurora Avenue/New York Street also will be improved.
Another major element of the project is creation of a diverging diamond interchange on the bridge over I-88. The design eliminates most left turns across opposing traffic and keeps cars flowing more steadily to improve safety.
Crews are planning to begin constructing the crossover bridges for the diverging diamond during the first week in August, and the work will require the closure of the interchange ramps for one to two weeks.
Construction is expected to be complete this fall.