Work began moving full speed ahead Monday on the Illinois Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of Route 59 in northwest Naperville. Traffic didn’t necessarily keep pace — but drivers will need to save plenty of patience for later.
“Yesterday we didn’t really hear too much about the (lane) closures,” Jennifer Louden, the city’s project manager, said Tuesday.
Work already has been under way for several weeks at scattered locations along the project corridor, which stretches from Aurora Avenue to Ferry Road. Crews currently are seeing to such preparatory tasks as grinding out old medians that will be replaced with wide strips of landscaped green space as part of the work. While the preliminary arrangements are being completed, different lanes will be shut down intermittently. After that, the closures will remain as they are for the duration of the project.
Louden said Monday morning also brought a preconstruction meeting at IDOT’s Schaumburg offices, to close in on a contractor for the portion of Route 59 between Aurora Avenue/New York Street and North Aurora Road. A contract will be let for that final segment of the project within the coming days, she said.
Expected to take two years, the massive $118 million overhaul will leave the three miles of state highway wider, with new and lengthened turning lanes and upgraded access at cross streets, to keep motorists moving. Also in the scope of work is the construction of 6,385 feet of sound-muffling walls and 21 concrete retaining walls of assorted sizes; utility relocations; replacement of the pump station at the Burlington Northern rail line underpass and the Waubonsie Creek culvert; and a diverging diamond arrangement of lanes on the Interstate 88 bridge that is expected to ease congestion at the interchange.
Louden stressed that the process will intensify as the days pass.
“In the next couple of weeks, the work’s really going to start ramping up,” she said. “People will start to see more and more crews out there.”