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Author Topic: Illinois notes  (Read 175832 times)

mgk920

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Illinois notes
« on: September 12, 2012, 02:19:57 PM »

I drove down to Chicago yesterday (Tuesday, 2012-09-11) and noticed a few interesting items.

-IDOT has added the new MUTCD yellow outlines to the black 'target' background frames around its overhead mast-arm signal heads along US 41 (Skokie Highway) in Lake County.  Although I would have much preferred that the feds used white instead of yellow, as is the standard in Europe, they do look pretty nice and do make the signal heads much more visible, especially at night.  It will be easy to tell that there are signals at an intersection should the power fail at night, too.

-Chicagoland is lousy with Clearwiew, although a limited few FHWA BGSs still exist on the expressways, including some button copy.

-The badly overdue rebuilding of the north-south part of Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago is well under way with the forms for the southernmost couple of blocks now being constructed.  The parts farther north that are done look *fantastic* and it should be a great drive when all is done.  I'm not sure if it is expected to be done yet this year, but it might be close.

-Is the City of Chicago cutting back on the number of streetlights on their streets?  :-o  From the Sears Skydeck, some streets looked dimmer and less intensively lit than I remember the last time that I was there, even though those streets still used high-pressure sodium-vapor lamps.

Mike
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 02:22:02 PM by mgk920 »
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sipes23

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 10:24:23 PM »

I saw the earthmovers headed up the hill in Algonquin yesterday. Work has begun on the IL 31 bypass around downtown Algonquin. It is supposed to cause lane closures on IL 62, but I've not seen them yet. Work should finish in 2014.

http://www.algonquin.org/egov/docs/1293659786178.htm

I also had the chance encounter with the IL 60/83 closure at the CN tracks in Mundelein last night. If you're familiar with the area, finding a sensible detour should be easy enough. Otherwise consult Google maps. The suggested detour looks pretty rough.

http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Transportation/Roadwork/ConstDocuments/ILRte60_ILRte83_EJ_ERRPressRelease.pdf
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SSOWorld

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 05:03:16 PM »

Mike - They are putting in HIDs all over and are now preferring flat bottoms of the heads over the jutting out covers they have used forever.  I don't think they reduced the density of lamp posts.  Recall they had those lights on two streets for some time (1 being LSD).

I saw the yellow borders on IL 173 traffic light heads.

I drove down to Chicago yesterday (Tuesday, 2012-09-11) and noticed a few interesting items.

-IDOT has added the new MUTCD yellow outlines to the black 'target' background frames around its overhead mast-arm signal heads along US 41 (Skokie Highway) in Lake County.  Although I would have much preferred that the feds used white instead of yellow, as is the standard in Europe, they do look pretty nice and do make the signal heads much more visible, especially at night.  It will be easy to tell that there are signals at an intersection should the power fail at night, too.

-Chicagoland is lousy with Clearwiew, although a limited few FHWA BGSs still exist on the expressways, including some button copy.

-The badly overdue rebuilding of the north-south part of Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago is well under way with the forms for the southernmost couple of blocks now being constructed.  The parts farther north that are done look *fantastic* and it should be a great drive when all is done.  I'm not sure if it is expected to be done yet this year, but it might be close.

-Is the City of Chicago cutting back on the number of streetlights on their streets?  :-o  From the Sears Skydeck, some streets looked dimmer and less intensively lit than I remember the last time that I was there, even though those streets still used high-pressure sodium-vapor lamps.

Mike
http://wackerdrive.net/project-schedule/

End of 2012.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 06:45:31 PM by Master son »
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sipes23

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 11:33:54 AM »

I ran across some construction on IL176 in Wauconda that didn't have an immediately apparent purpose. Some digging turned up that there is a bicycle tunnel being put under the road. Maybe I need to check out their bike trail system over there too. In the spring.

Lake County has a very thorough website for their transportation department. Here are the construction projects.

http://www.lakecountyil.gov/TRANSPORTATION/Pages/ConstructionProjects.aspx
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Mdcastle

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 04:13:11 PM »

In some areas they're replacing high pressure sodium vapor with metal halide too, which looks "dimmer" too me even at apparently equivalent lumens. I've yet to see an LED in chicagoland.
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sandwalk

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 09:49:10 PM »

Some updates from the Rockford area:

Illinois Route 173 in Machesney Park, which has had massive commercial development within the past 5 or so years (not surprisingly, after the I-90 exit opened), is now 4 lanes from Illinois 251 to near the Rockford Speedway.  The last phase of the project will make the road 4 lanes out to the Tollway....good news with traffic counts exceeding 30,000 vehicles per day.
http://www.wrex.com/story/19927731/173-road-construction-set-to-finish-november-1

Illinois Route 2 construction continues between Rockford and Rockton.  A new, 4-lane divided highway will replace the existing 2-lane road (which will become an east side frontage road).  This new section of highway is from of Bauer Pkwy (Toll Bridge) to just north of Latham Road.  The new approximately 3 mile highway is already paved with traffic lights in place....not sure of the exact opening date.  After this stretch is opened, nearly 18 of the 21 miles of Illinois 2 from Beloit south to the Chicago Rockford International Airport will be 4 or more lanes.
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Revive 755

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 10:13:22 PM »

Dusting off this thread since I don't believe the two points below warrant starting a new thread:

* On WB I-90 there is a 'speed enforced by aircraft' sign a short distance west of IL 59 with a symbol that appeared more like a predator drone than an aircraft - or could be I didn't get a good look at the sign.

* The I-90 interchange with IL 47 is almost complete.  The new WB I-90 to SB IL 47 loop ramp is open.  The permanent(?) BGS's on WB I-90 approaching the interchange are up with the the I-Pass Only/Cash not accepted part mostly covered.  The signs lack an exit number.
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hobsini2

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2013, 09:10:19 AM »

This week, the installs of the exit gore signs with EXIT NUMBERS was completed on I-355.

Couple of interesting notes. First, the collector lane gore sign for SB 355 to IL 56 Butterfield Rd and I-88 is initially signed "Ramp 22". The exit for Butterfield is just a regular Exit 22 but there is no exit number for the I-88 ramps.

Secondly, NB 355 approaching I-88 and US 34 Ogden Ave, the I-88 ramp says "Ramp 20A" and Ogden Ave is "Exit 20B". The odd thing though is SB 355 to Ogden Ave is "Exit 19" even though the interchange with Ogden Ave is a regular full diamond.

The Exit tabs on the BGSs have not been added yet to the toll section of 355.
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UNDSIOUX

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 05:25:53 AM »

FYI- as a regular user of I-90/I-39, the eastbound/southbound traffic between South Beloit and Rockton Road is now using the new pavement and you are no longer squeezed in sharing the westbound/northbound lanes.  The third lane is still not open (on both sides) and there are plenty of barriers to move as well as restriping on both sides, but I don't see them taking more than a week or two to finish this.   

But I fear they will drag this out and those 55 MPH signs will remain posted until Turkey Day travel week. :banghead: 
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Rick Powell

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 10:18:47 AM »

IL 47 reconstruction and add-lanes through Yorkville is well underway with the old retaining wall by the courthouse gone (the wall was an ugly landmark) and several buildings removed.  Most of the big storm sewer has been put in place on the south side of the Fox River, and new Northbound concrete pavement is in place for several blocks (traffic is still squeezed to the west side with about 18 feet of clearance for both lanes).  Like the previous IL 47 project in Huntley, it's a nice drive-through if you're looking for construction activity, but a route you'd want to avoid in the AM and PM if you're just travelling.

Later this month, IDOT will be taking bids for reconstruction and adding lanes to IL 47 in Grundy County, from Morris north to the county line.
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Brandon

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 10:45:37 AM »

IL 47 reconstruction and add-lanes through Yorkville is well underway with the old retaining wall by the courthouse gone (the wall was an ugly landmark) and several buildings removed.  Most of the big storm sewer has been put in place on the south side of the Fox River, and new Northbound concrete pavement is in place for several blocks (traffic is still squeezed to the west side with about 18 feet of clearance for both lanes).  Like the previous IL 47 project in Huntley, it's a nice drive-through if you're looking for construction activity, but a route you'd want to avoid in the AM and PM if you're just travelling.

Later this month, IDOT will be taking bids for reconstruction and adding lanes to IL 47 in Grundy County, from Morris north to the county line.

I've noticed (I work in Yorkville, south of downtown), and I try to avoid that area whenever possible.  It can take as long a half an hour to get through downtown Yorkville right now due to the construction.  It will be nice when finished, and I have noticed concrete being laid just south of the bridge.  The best detour route is to go east on IL-71 to Orchard Road, and then back west on US-34.

IL-47 really needs the widening, but the Prairie Parkway would've been a great addition for the increasing truck traffic.  I predict that IL-47, merely widened by itself, will be outdated and overburdened within five years.  It's a popular truck route from the intermodal yards in Joliet and Elwood to I-88 and north.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 02:59:00 PM »

I've noticed (I work in Yorkville, south of downtown), and I try to avoid that area whenever possible.  It can take as long a half an hour to get through downtown Yorkville right now due to the construction.  It will be nice when finished, and I have noticed concrete being laid just south of the bridge.  The best detour route is to go east on IL-71 to Orchard Road, and then back west on US-34.

IL-47 really needs the widening, but the Prairie Parkway would've been a great addition for the increasing truck traffic.  I predict that IL-47, merely widened by itself, will be outdated and overburdened within five years.  It's a popular truck route from the intermodal yards in Joliet and Elwood to I-88 and north.

There is also increased engineering activity in other parts of the IL 47 corridor.  In District 3, IDOT is working on design plans for IL 47 from Grundy County line to Caton Farm Road, planning studies for IL 47 from Caton Farm to IL 71 and also from north Yorkville to Sugar Grove, and the tollway is moving fast on designing the IL 47 and I-88 conversion to a full-access interchange.  In District 1, IDOT continues with planning studies for the Huntley to Woodstock and through Woodstock sections, and Kane County seems to be moving to build the Anderson Road bypass (which could have been an IL 47 re-route around the east side of Elburn if development hadn't blocked the south connection).
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JREwing78

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2013, 11:07:40 PM »

FYI- as a regular user of I-90/I-39, the eastbound/southbound traffic between South Beloit and Rockton Road is now using the new pavement and you are no longer squeezed in sharing the westbound/northbound lanes.  The third lane is still not open (on both sides) and there are plenty of barriers to move as well as restriping on both sides, but I don't see them taking more than a week or two to finish this.   

But I fear they will drag this out and those 55 MPH signs will remain posted until Turkey Day travel week. :banghead: 


That's great news. I was getting tired of driving out of my way to avoid this stretch.
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Revive 755

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2013, 10:13:29 PM »

There is also increased engineering activity in other parts of the IL 47 corridor.  In District 3, IDOT is working on design plans for IL 47 from Grundy County line to Caton Farm Road, planning studies for IL 47 from Caton Farm to IL 71 and also from north Yorkville to Sugar Grove, and the tollway is moving fast on designing the IL 47 and I-88 conversion to a full-access interchange.  In District 1, IDOT continues with planning studies for the Huntley to Woodstock and through Woodstock sections, and Kane County seems to be moving to build the Anderson Road bypass (which could have been an IL 47 re-route around the east side of Elburn if development hadn't blocked the south connection).

I think there was a request for consulting services from IDOT for contract plans for IL 47 through Woodstock recently, with a note that the project had many multi-lane roundabouts.

Anderson Road between IL 38 and Keslinger Road was on a state letting not that long ago; can't remember which one.


The print edition of the Daily Herald today (not finding an article online yet) mentioned in an article that ISTHA would study extending the fourth lane on I-355 south from 75th Street to the Boughton Road Toll Plaza.
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Joe The Dragon

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 11:51:54 PM »

There is also increased engineering activity in other parts of the IL 47 corridor.  In District 3, IDOT is working on design plans for IL 47 from Grundy County line to Caton Farm Road, planning studies for IL 47 from Caton Farm to IL 71 and also from north Yorkville to Sugar Grove, and the tollway is moving fast on designing the IL 47 and I-88 conversion to a full-access interchange.  In District 1, IDOT continues with planning studies for the Huntley to Woodstock and through Woodstock sections, and Kane County seems to be moving to build the Anderson Road bypass (which could have been an IL 47 re-route around the east side of Elburn if development hadn't blocked the south connection).

I think there was a request for consulting services from IDOT for contract plans for IL 47 through Woodstock recently, with a note that the project had many multi-lane roundabouts.

Anderson Road between IL 38 and Keslinger Road was on a state letting not that long ago; can't remember which one.


The print edition of the Daily Herald today (not finding an article online yet) mentioned in an article that ISTHA would study extending the fourth lane on I-355 south from 75th Street to the Boughton Road Toll Plaza.

they should also add one up to I-290
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UNDSIOUX

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2013, 07:30:35 PM »

FYI- as a regular user of I-90/I-39, the eastbound/southbound traffic between South Beloit and Rockton Road is now using the new pavement and you are no longer squeezed in sharing the westbound/northbound lanes.  The third lane is still not open (on both sides) and there are plenty of barriers to move as well as restriping on both sides, but I don't see them taking more than a week or two to finish this.   

But I fear they will drag this out and those 55 MPH signs will remain posted until Turkey Day travel week. :banghead:


FYI- as of this afternoon, all three lanes on WB90/NB39 are open from the toll plaza at Rockton Rd. to the stateline and the limit is back up to 65 MPH.  Looked like the same on the other side but I was unable to confirm (we'll see tomorrow morning).    :colorful:  No more construction- winter must be on the way!!

Looking forward to one construction-free year on my I-90 commute  (haven't had many of those in the last 7 years)... then Sconnie's turn to widen the section from Beloit to Janesville beginning in 2015.
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JREwing78

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2013, 12:16:22 AM »

FYI- as a regular user of I-90/I-39, the eastbound/southbound traffic between South Beloit and Rockton Road is now using the new pavement and you are no longer squeezed in sharing the westbound/northbound lanes.  The third lane is still not open (on both sides) and there are plenty of barriers to move as well as restriping on both sides, but I don't see them taking more than a week or two to finish this.   

But I fear they will drag this out and those 55 MPH signs will remain posted until Turkey Day travel week. :banghead: 


That's great news. I was getting tired of driving out of my way to avoid this stretch.

Crap, you're talking about the short non-tolled stretch just south of the Wisconsin line, not the 40+ mile construction zone east of Rockford, right?

Considering that I'm getting really sick of taking I-88 into Chicago, I looked up the status on the Illinois Tollway website. It appears they've reintroduced 2 EBD lanes of traffic on the newly-rebuilt EBD carriageway, albeit at a 55mph speed limit.

WBD is still a clusterf*** until the end of December (2 narrow lanes WBD, except for the single-lane around Belvidere), when they're supposed to be done with WBD construction until the spring.
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silverback1065

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 12:43:35 AM »

has the lake shore drive extension opened?
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mgk920

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2013, 01:55:23 AM »

has the lake shore drive extension opened?

It's not an 'extension', per se, but rather a new section of boulevard well disconnected from the rest.  Bypassing a serpentine former street section of US 41, it opened several weeks ago.

Mike
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UNDSIOUX

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2013, 06:04:44 PM »

Yep- I meant only the I-39/90 stretch down to Cherry Valley.  Obviously, I turn off at the split and I won't even attempt to drive the I-90 stretch until it is completed for the same reason I didn't drive I-90 for almost 2 years while it was under construction from Cherry Valley up to Rockton Rd.  The whole "Trucks Keep Left" and 45 MPH limit- I have no idea why they simply cannot post signs that say "Slow Traffic Keep LEFT- Pass on the right".  It is amazing that these DOT "engineers" promote the weaving that occurs as people go around slow trucks in the left lane and the slow cars in the right lane.  It's just a recipe for impatience and stupidity and I have a tough time dealing with that for a couple miles, let alone 40+.
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Brandon

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2013, 10:53:39 PM »

^^ The trucks are kept to the left as those lanes are better supported for carrying their weight through the construction zone.  The right lanes tend to be temporary and not full depth.  Thus, they are only capable of carrying lighter loads such as passenger cars.
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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 08:01:03 PM »

Yep- I meant only the I-39/90 stretch down to Cherry Valley.  Obviously, I turn off at the split and I won't even attempt to drive the I-90 stretch until it is completed for the same reason I didn't drive I-90 for almost 2 years while it was under construction from Cherry Valley up to Rockton Rd.  The whole "Trucks Keep Left" and 45 MPH limit- I have no idea why they simply cannot post signs that say "Slow Traffic Keep LEFT- Pass on the right".  It is amazing that these DOT "engineers" promote the weaving that occurs as people go around slow trucks in the left lane and the slow cars in the right lane.  It's just a recipe for impatience and stupidity and I have a tough time dealing with that for a couple miles, let alone 40+.

they need to make the more rual / interstate class roads work zone speed limit 50-55 MPH
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Brandon

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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 09:28:55 PM »

Yep- I meant only the I-39/90 stretch down to Cherry Valley.  Obviously, I turn off at the split and I won't even attempt to drive the I-90 stretch until it is completed for the same reason I didn't drive I-90 for almost 2 years while it was under construction from Cherry Valley up to Rockton Rd.  The whole "Trucks Keep Left" and 45 MPH limit- I have no idea why they simply cannot post signs that say "Slow Traffic Keep LEFT- Pass on the right".  It is amazing that these DOT "engineers" promote the weaving that occurs as people go around slow trucks in the left lane and the slow cars in the right lane.  It's just a recipe for impatience and stupidity and I have a tough time dealing with that for a couple miles, let alone 40+.

they need to make the more rual / interstate class roads work zone speed limit 50-55 MPH

There's no reason for anything less than 60 when workers are not present or are behind a concrete barrier wall.  This 45 mph crap is just that, crap.
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Re: Illinois notes
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2013, 09:35:28 PM »

The 45mph limit in the currently I-90 construction zone east of Rockford made sense - the lanes were REALLY narrow, which makes it tricky to drive with 10ft wide semis struggling to stay on their side of the line. I only nudged my speed up to 50-55 just to more closely match the speed of traffic.
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Re: Illinois Notes
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 09:51:45 PM »

This week, the installs of the exit gore signs with EXIT NUMBERS was completed on I-355.

Couple of interesting notes. First, the collector lane gore sign for SB 355 to IL 56 Butterfield Rd and I-88 is initially signed "Ramp 22". The exit for Butterfield is just a regular Exit 22 but there is no exit number for the I-88 ramps.

Secondly, NB 355 approaching I-88 and US 34 Ogden Ave, the I-88 ramp says "Ramp 20A" and Ogden Ave is "Exit 20B". The odd thing though is SB 355 to Ogden Ave is "Exit 19" even though the interchange with Ogden Ave is a regular full diamond.

The Exit tabs on the BGSs have not been added yet to the toll section of 355.


Wait does this mean that ISTHA is adding Exit Numbers to all highways? Or just 355?

* Interstate 90 east of Rockford: construction going on there. Some new signs have been installed on the South side of the tollway. Some signs feature exit tabs with numbers while others do not. Also, certain old ISTHA signs are still remaining. It's very confusing to me. Anyone have any insight to this?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 09:53:54 PM by JoePCool14 »
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