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 from Balmoral Avenue to 95th Street to provide congestion relief, reconstruct old infrastructure to meet current and future transportation demand and address regional needs.

Work in 2019 includes the start of reconstruction of 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, the repairing, resurfacing and widening I-294 to five lanes between Balmoral Avenue and Wolf Road in Franklin Park will continue. This work includes the removal of the O’Hare Oasis pavilion and pavement repairs to the Balmoral Avenue Bridge over I-294.

A detailed planning and refinement process is underway to complete design and construction plans for the Central Tri-State Tollway Project. The project includes 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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Construction Update (1/3/20)

I-294 Ramps
Traffic is shifted on the I-294 northbound entrance ramps and southbound exit ramps at Irving Park Road through spring 2020. Similar shifts are also in place on the ramps at the O’Hare Oasis.

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.

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

Local Roads
At I-294, Irving Park Road in both directions is scheduled to be reduced to a single lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Friday, January 10, 2020, for bridge work.

At I-294, Lawrence Avenue in both directions is scheduled to be reduced to a single lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Friday, January 10, 2020, for bridge work.

Customer Impacts

In 2019, 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.

Building Green

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.