Illinois tollway improvements bring lane closures

Illinois tollway improvements bring lane closures
This map shows the affected area. (Courtesy: Illinois State Toll Highway Authority)

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Long-term lane closures are scheduled to begin this week and continue through the end of the year as part of highway improvements in the Chicago metro area.

The affected area includes westbound Lake Street and eastbound North Avenue in Elmhurst and Northlake, according to a news release from the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways-led local roadway and bridge construction will accommodate the Illinois Tollway’s North Avenue Interchange Project on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294), according to the news release.

Beginning Oct. 6, the westbound lanes on Lake Street will be closed to traffic at Railroad Avenue. A detour will be posted routing westbound Lake Street traffic north on Railroad Avenue and west on North Avenue (Illinois Route 64). All lanes on eastbound Lake Street will remain open to traffic.

In addition, eastbound North Avenue under I-294 will be reduced to two lanes. All lanes on westbound North Avenue will remain open to traffic. The entrance ramp to northbound I-294 will remain open to traffic and be accessible from Lake Street, the news release stated.

Electronic message signs and construction signage will be put in place in advance to alert drivers to the lane closures and detour. The roadway lane closures and detour are necessary to provide a work zone for construction and safely accommodate traffic. All work is weather dependent.

Construction updates, project information, maps and detour information for work that is part of the North Avenue Interchange Project at I-294 are available in the Projects section on the Tollway’s website at as well as on the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways website at

“Ongoing lane closures and traffic shifts are scheduled to continue over the next three years on these local roadways to allow Cook County to complete this work including pavement reconstruction, bridge work, watermain reconstruction, drainage installation, and traffic signal work,” the news release said.

The project will include work to realign a portion of County Line Road to accommodate the reconstruction and widening of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and for the North Avenue Interchange Project that includes construction of a new ramp connecting southbound I-294 to County Line Road to provide new access to North Avenue and Lake Street to help reduce congestion at the interchange and on local roads.

In addition, the North Avenue and Lake Street (U.S. Route 20) intersection will be reconfigured to improve traffic flow and provide new direct access to eastbound North Avenue. Drainage improvements are planned to help alleviate flooding in the area during periods of heavy rainfall. Construction of detention ponds to hold stormwater and the installation of new storm sewers will help address flooding along North Avenue.

In partnership with the Illinois Tollway and cities of Northlake and Elmhurst, Cook County is leading the project’s design and will be constructing the project improvements. This work is part of the Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

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