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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Mainline Construction Timeline

Mainline Construction Timeline Map
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Construction Update (4/15/19)

Throughout April, intermittent, full closures of southbound I-294, each lasting 15 minutes, will be scheduled during weeknights between midnight and 4 a.m. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction each night in advance of the full closures. Closures will not be scheduled every night, but on an as-needed basis depending on weather.

At the O'Hare Oasis, traffic in both directions on I-294 for removal of the over-the-road pavilion structure.

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

Local Roads
On Irving Park Road, traffic in both directions is scheduled to be reduced to a single lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19, for bridge work.

On Lawrence Avenue, traffic in both directions is reduced to a single lane through Monday, April 22 for bridge painting.

On Central Road, westbound traffic is scheduled to be reduced to a single lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 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.

O'Hare Oasis Removal

As part of the Tollway’s Central Tri-State Tollway Project, the Illinois Tollway is removing the O’Hare Oasis, which will allow a fifth lane to be added in each direction between Balmoral Avenue and Wolf Road in Franklin Park. The O’Hare Oasis fuel stations and convenience stores operated by 7-Eleven remain open to provide services for both northbound and southbound travelers along I-294.

This work is scheduled to be complete in 2019.


Construction Site Image

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.