Building bridges brings the Illinois Tollway and communities together

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At the Illinois Tollway, the start of every good construction project begins with coordination with local communities.
Reaching out to counties and communities when project planning begins provides the opportunity for the Tollway to ensure all are aware of potential impacts to local roads. It also opens the door to coordinate improvements and cost sharing, making public funds go farther.    
This summer, the Tollway’s work includes coordinated efforts to rebuild two local crossroad bridges – one in Gurnee crossing the Tri-State Tollway (I-94) and another in Oak Brook crossing ramps connecting the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Both bridges are scheduled to be complete by the end of 2021.
“More than ever, we – counties, communities and the state – are all working together to achieve shared goals: stimulate the economy, create jobs and improve mobility throughout the region,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “While these may be small projects, collaborating to build local bridges represents all that is right about investments in infrastructure – our commitment to smart transportation planning, our capacity to share funding and our ability to improve travel.”
In Gurnee, the Tollway, Village of Gurnee and Lake County Division of Transportation are working together to replace the 70-year-old Stearns School Road Bridge over the Tri-State Tollway. The new bridge structure has been designed to provide for three lanes of tra¿c, wider shoulders, as well as additional bicycle and pedestrian access.  Currently, up to 15,900 vehicles use the Stearns School Road Bridge daily.
Because the Illinois Tollway typically constructs new bridges with a 75-year service life, the new bridge is being built to accommodate future local roadway improvements anticipated by the village and the county, so the $12 million project includes $5.4 million in local cost participation from Village of Gurnee and Lake County for the extra improvements.
In Oak Brook, the Tollway is contributing $7.5 million to rebuild the Windsor Drive Bridge carrying local tra¿c over the Tollway ramps connecting I-88 and I-294. The new, wider bridge will provide four lanes on Windsor Drive along with a 10-foot-wide landscaped median and sidewalks in both directions and is needed to accommodate work underway by the Village of Oak Brook to widen Windsor Drive Swift Road and Cermak Road. 
Currently, up to 6,500 vehicles use the Windsor Drive Bridge daily, which includes some of the heaviest volumes of passenger and truck freight tra¿c in the Village of Oak Brook. The Tollway’s work to replace the bridge, supports work by Oak Brook to improve the frequently congested area and allow drivers to travel more safely, reliably and e¿ciently in DuPage County.