LILY LAKE – After almost 10 months of road closures, detours and traffic delays, the associated construction barricades, cones and workers could become a memory at the intersection of Routes 64 and 47 by spring.
Recently, work crews hired by the Illinois Department of Transportation quietly reopened Route 47 from south of Route 64 to near Beith Road.
That stretch of the state highway had remained closed and traffic detoured around it since August, when road workers had completed a reconstruction of Route 64 on the east side of Route 47.
Newly installed traffic signals at the intersection are scheduled to be operational Nov. 14. And turn lanes at the intersection should be open by Thanksgiving Day, IDOT spokesman Mike Claffey said.
In the meantime, “miscellaneous concrete work” and work on driveways will remain ongoing.
And landscaping work and final pavement striping will be completed by spring, when the monthslong work is completed.
The project began in mid-April, when IDOT began to reconstruct the intersection.
IDOT said the project was intended to better control traffic through the intersection, thanks to the installation of the traffic control signals, the addition of turn lanes for all directions, and better drainage systems to prevent the flooding that would regularly plague that location.
The closure angered some local business owners who had worried construction would cause customers to avoid the intersection.
However, new owners moved into the formerly shuttered Marathon station at the intersection’s northeast corner, reopening the service station and associated convenience store in September.
The gas station had remained closed for four years.
From April to early August, IDOT had closed Route 64 from just west of Anderson Road to Route 47 to allow road construction crews to reconstruct that stretch of Route 64, replacing the road’s former asphalt surface with concrete.
During the closures, motorists seeking to move through the closed portions of the intersection were detoured several miles around, using Route 38 and LaFox Road.
IDOT estimated at the time the work began that the project would cost about $5 million, and that it would be substantially completed by Thursday.