Illinois DOT announces I-57 reconstruction project

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The Illinois Department of Transportation is advising motorists of a reconstruction project on the northbound lanes of Interstate 57 from Benton to the Franklin/Jefferson County line scheduled to begin on April 20. During the construction, one lane of traffic will be maintained in the northbound direction. Southbound traffic will not be affected by the work.

Due to the high volume of traffic present on the highway, traffic slowdowns and congestion are expected. During periods of delays, motorists are encouraged to follow the signs for the alternate route. Message boards will be in place with pertinent traffic information to advise motorists of conditions ahead.

The work involves removal of the existing bituminous surface, rubblizing the underlying original concrete pavement and resurfacing with 9 1/4-inch of hot mix asphalt over the 8-mile-long project. The process involves special equipment capable of crushing the concrete slabs, followed by repeated rolling, resulting in a high-quality free draining base. The hot mix asphalt is designed for the temperature ranges and traffic loads for this location. The present traffic count in the northbound direction is 16,100 vehicles per day, with 32 percent being heavy trucks.

The planned work schedule is to begin by closing the passing lane from the Illinois 154 interchange northerly to the Franklin/Jefferson County line. Once the passing lane and inside shoulder are complete, traffic will be shifted to the new surface, and work will begin on the driving lane and outside shoulder. Several operations will take place simultaneously, and at times, work is to be performed at night. This section is expected to be completed in a three- to four-week period.

The second section of the project begins just north of the Illinois 14 interchange at Benton and extends northerly to the Illinois 154 interchange. The northbound Rend Lake Rest Area will be closed during reconstruction of this portion of the project. The work on this section will begin shortly after the Memorial Day holiday period and will be completed before the Independence Day holiday period.