Ramps closing next month at Route 59 and I-88
One of the final elements in a nearly $90 million, two-year project to widen Route 59 along the Naperville/Aurora border is a new diverging diamond interchange at I-88.
Work to install the interchange will require several ramp closures sometime in August, transportation officials said Monday.
Six of the eight ramps are expected to be closed while construction crews install new traffic signals and pour concrete that will form an "X," allowing the new diverging diamond to take shape, said Guy Tridgell, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The diverging diamond interchange will eliminate most left turns across traffic and is designed to improve safety and keep cars flowing more steadily. Once the ramps reopen, Tridgell said the new configuration will be in place.
Two ramps planned to remain open will allow drivers on Route 59 to make right turns onto the tollway, said Bill Novack, director of transportation, engineering and development for the city of Naperville. That means drivers heading north on Route 59 will be able to go east on I-88, and those driving south on 59 will be allowed to head west.
Tollway drivers will not be able to exit at Route 59 during the closure.
Tridgell said the closure will last a maximum of nine days. The exact dates of the closure are still being finalized for sometime in August, but not the first week, IDOT told Naperville officials.
"They haven't specified a date yet," Novack said. "But we know it's coming up."
Tollway drivers will be detoured to exits east of Route 59 at Winfield Road and west of it at Eola Road. Drivers on 59 who want to enter the tollway also will be directed to use Winfield or Eola, accessible by Diehl Road south of the tollway or Butterfield Road to the north.
"We're using everything around us," Novack said.
The new diverging diamond interchange is one element of a project that also will widen a three-mile stretch of Route 59 between Ferry Road on the north and Aurora Avenue/New York Street on the south to three lanes in each direction. The upgrades will 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.
The last major lane change of the project goes into effect Tuesday as southbound traffic on 59 between Ferry Road and Bruce Lane/Brookdale Road will be switched to new pavement as work continues on turn lanes and center medians.
Route 59 expansion began in August 2013 and transportation officials said it's on track to be substantially complete by Labor Day with all lanes open. Sidewalk and path work might continue later into the fall, Tridgell said.