Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project
Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294)
Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project
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. This 22-mile corridor serves more than 300,000 vehicles daily. The $4 billion project is scheduled from 2018 through 2026.
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.
Construction in 2023 includes mainline rehabilitation and widening between the O’Hare Oasis and Wolf Road and mainline reconstruction and widening between Wolf Road and St. Charles Road, between I-55 and 75th Street and between LaGrange Road and 95th Street. Work on The Mile Long Bridge between Hodgkins and Willow Springs is scheduled to be complete this year.
Work this year also includes ongoing work to reconfigure ramps at the Ogden Avenue Interchange, reconstruction and improvement of ramps at the I-55 Interchange and work to reconfigure the ramps at the I-290/I-88 Interchange at I-294.
In addition, work to reconstruction of the Plainfield Road Bridge carrying traffic over I-294 is scheduled for completion this year, as is bridge reconstruction and local road improvements at 87th Street and Roberts Road.
Central Tri-State Tollway
Visualization of Corridor Improvements
NB I-294 TO EB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE
NB I-294 TO WB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE
EB I-88 TO WB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE
EB ARCHER AVENUE TO SB I-294 RAMP CLOSURE DETOUR
WB I-290 TO SB I-294 RAMP CLOSURE
EB I-88 TO NB I-294 AND WB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE DETOUR
WB IL 38 TO SB I-294 RAMP CLOSURE
NB I-294 TO WB IL 38 RAMP CLOSURE
EB I-290 TO SB I-294 RAMP CLOSURE DETOUR
EB IL 38 TO EB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE
WB I-290 TO SB I-294 AND WB I-88 RAMP
SB I-294 TO EB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE
EB I-88 TO NB I-294 AND WB I-290
RAMP LANE CLOSURE
NB I-294 TO WB I-88
RAMP LANE CLOSURE
WB ARCHER AVENUE TO SB I-294 RAMP CLOSURE DETOUR
SB LAGRANGE ROAD TO SB I-294 RAMP CLOSURE DETOUR
EB I-88 and NB I-294 to WB I-290 RAMP
SB I-294 to EB I-290 RAMP CLOSURE
Construction Update (2/19/24)
On I-294, overnight lane closures in both directions between Wolf Road and Balmoral Avenue will be scheduled as needed starting at 8 p.m. Intermittent, 15-minute full closures will also be needed for the installation of the SmartRoad gantries over the road. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. the following morning when work is scheduled. The temporary overnight lane closures are scheduled to continue through March.
Between the Wolf Road and Joliet Road traffic is currently shifted in both directions, including:
- Between Wolf Road and North Avenue, two northbound lanes are traveling on the southbound side of the Tollway.
- Between St. Charles Road and Butterfield Road, southbound I-294 is in a split configuration with two left lanes continuing on the I-294 mainline and two right lanes directed onto the auxiliary lanes providing access to exit ramps for eastbound I-290 and for westbound I-88 before reconnecting with the southbound I-294 mainline. Traffic must use the two right lanes to access the eastbound I-290 ramp and the westbound I-88 ramp. The two left lanes will be express lanes with the next available exit at Cermak Road. This traffic pattern on southbound I-294 will be in place into 2026.
- Between I-88 and Electric Avenue, two northbound lanes are traveling on the southbound side of the Tollway.
- Between Maple Avenue and Ogden Avenue, four northbound lanes of traffic are shifted to the left and one lane is shifted to the right with a work zone in the middle. All exiting traffic must use the right lane well in advance of the interchange to access both eastbound and westbound Ogden Avenue.
Between 75th Street and Willow Springs Road, northbound traffic is shifted.
Between 95th Street and the 83rd Street Toll Plaza, northbound traffic is shifted.
Traffic is scheduled to remain in these configurations into 2024.
Please check the Daily Construction Alert for up-to-date closure information.
On Butterfield Road, traffic is reduced to a single lane in both directions under I-294 between Calvin Avenue and I-290. The closures are scheduled to remain in place through 2024.
At the I-290/I-88 Interchange at I-294:
The ramp carrying traffic from westbound I-290 to northbound I-294 is closed. A detour is posted. The ramp is scheduled to remain closed through the end of 2024.
The ramp carrying westbound Roosevelt Road to southbound I-294 is closed. A detour is posted. The ramp is scheduled to remain closed through the end of 2024.
- Additional lane and ramp closures are scheduled throughout the year on I-294 and I-290. Detours will be posted.
In conjunction with work at the 88th/Cork Avenue Interchange, the ramp connecting eastbound Archer Avenue to southbound I-294 is closed through 2025. A detour is posted.
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.
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.