Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294)

Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project

Project Overview

The Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) is being reconstructed and widened from Balmoral Avenue to 95th Street to provide congestion relief, reconstruct old infrastructure to meet current and future transportation demand and address regional needs. The project is scheduled from 2018 through 2026.

Construction in 2020 includes mainline reconstruction between the O’Hare Oasis and Wolf Road in Franklin Park. Work will be ongoing at two major bridges in this area: The Mile Long Bridge between Hodgkins and Willow Springs and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Bridge in Hinsdale and Western Springs. At both locations, traffic, including freight and commuter rail traffic, will be maintained during construction.

In addition, advance work, utility work and improvements to ramps and local crossroad bridges will take place throughout the project corridor.

The Illinois Tollway has undertaken a detailed planning and refinement process to develop design and construction plans for the Central Tri-State Tollway Project. Major components of the project include reconfiguring the I-290/I-88 Interchange at I-294, rebuilding the Mile Long Bridge and the BNSF Railway Bridge, as well as integrating Flex Lanes and SmartRoad technology.

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Concept Plan Map

Central Tri-State Concept Map
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Project Schedule Map

Central Tri-State Schedule Map
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West Lake Street to
NB I-294 Ramp Closure Detour

West Lake Street to NB I-294 Detour
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West Lake Street to NB I-294
Ramp Closure Detour

West Lake Street to NB I-294 Ramp Closure Detour
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EB I-290 to NB I-294 and North Avenue/Lake Street Detours

EB I-290 to NB I-294 and North Avenue/Lake Street
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SB I-294 to WB I-290
Ramp Closure Detour

SB I-294 to WB I-290 Ramp Closure Detour
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East Lake Street Road Closure Detour

East Lake Street Road Closure Detour
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WB West Lake Street Road Closure Detour

WB Lake Street to WB I-290 Detour
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Construction Update (4/3/20)

Ramps
Beginning Sunday, April 5, and continuing through April, nightly closures and detours will be scheduled, between midnight and 5 a.m. on Tollway ramps and mainline and between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on and local roads. The temporary closures are necessary to provide a work zone to safely accommodate relocation of ComEd transmission lines. All work is weather dependent.

Ramp closures for utility relocation will include:

  • Westbound Lake Street to westbound I-290: A detour will be posted routing traffic via Railroad Avenue and North Avenue to westbound I-290.
  • Eastbound I-290 to northbound I-294 and North Avenue and Lake Street: Two detours will be posted.
    • For access to North Avenue and Lake Street, a detour will be posted routing traffic via eastbound I-290 to northbound Mannheim Road to reach North Avenue and Lake Street. 
    • For access to northbound I-294, a detour will be posted routing traffic via eastbound I-290 and through the Mannheim Road interchange to westbound I-290 to reach northbound I-294.
  • Westbound I-290 to eastbound Lake Street/North Avenue: No detour will be posted for this closure.
  • Southbound I-294 to westbound I-290: A detour will be posted routing traffic via eastbound I-290 to Mannheim Road and the interchange to west on I-290.
  • Lake Street to Northbound I-294: A detour will be posted routing traffic via Railroad Avenue, North Avenue, Mannheim Road, and Irving Park Road to northbound I-294.

In addition to the ramp closures, local road and tollway closures will also be needed, including:

  • A full closure of East Lake Street between County Line Road and Northwest Avenue with a posted detour routing traffic via County Line Road, Grand Avenue and Northwest Avenue.
  • On North Avenue at I-294, intermittent full roadway closures, each lasting 15 minutes, will also be needed in both directions between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

On I-294 in both directions in this area, overnight lane closures will also be scheduled during this time, along with intermittent, full lane closures, each lasting 15 minutes between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.

Please check the Daily Construction Alert for up-to-date closure information.

I-294
Between Wolf Road and Balmoral Avenue, traffic is shifted in both directions. Traffic is expected to remain in this configuration through 2020.

Between Electric Avenue and Lake Street/North Avenue, traffic is shifted in order to widen I-294 in both directions. Traffic is expected to remain in this configuration through 2020.

Local Roads
One lane in both directions on LaGrange Road is scheduled to close daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as needed, for bridge construction.

Traffic on County Line Road is shifted for electrical work.

Customer Impacts

Shoulder closures and traffic shifts will be used to provide room for a work zone and safely accommodate traffic. Whenever possible, the Tollway uses traffic shifts and shoulders to keep as many lanes open during peak hours as were available before construction.

In addition, lane closures will be scheduled as needed on the Tollway and local roads to complete work.

A Regional Solution

The Central Tri-State Tollway is being reconstructed to increase capacity, reduce congestion and improve travel reliability. This work is part of the Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. More than 220,000 vehicles use this portion of the Tri-State Tollway daily.

A detailed planning and refinement process is underway to complete a design concept for rebuilding the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294). This process includes outreach efforts with customers, communities, businesses and partners to identify regional improvements and continue to refine the design details.

Visit the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) outreach page.

Sustainability

The Tollway is committed to building green and minimizing the environmental impact of construction by reducing, recycling and reusing materials.

In addition to reducing the cost of this work, reuse of these materials reduces the need for virgin asphalt materials and reduces energy consumption, greenhouse gases and the volume of material that would otherwise be sent to landfills.

Work Zone Safety

The Illinois Tollway is committed to ensuring that the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and local roads remain safe for both drivers and workers during construction, which is part of the agency’s overall commitment to roadway safety.

Work zone speed limits are in effect in all construction zones 24/7 and drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and use caution, especially when workers are present. 

Visit the Tollway's Work Zone Safety page.