As a main artery for commuters in Naperville and Aurora, Illinois Route 59 has been a constant source of frustration for DuPage County drivers. More than 50,000 vehicles travel Route 59 each day. Heavy traffic often leads to delays of up to thirty minutes. Congested traffic along Route 59 has also led to numerous motor vehicle accidents, with as many as 400 traffic accidents recorded each year.
Kane County and DuPage County have seen extensive growth and urbanization in recent years, which has led to increased traffic along Route 59 and the surrounding corridor. To increase traffic flow and improve roadway safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun a construction project along Route 59 between Ferry Road and New York/Aurora Avenue in Naperville. The construction project began April 21, 2014, and is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2015. Plans include the construction of new concrete retaining walls, additional noise abatement walls, and full reconstruction of the Interstate 88/IL Route 59 interchange, making passage through this area quicker and safer.
The I-88 interchange will create what’s called a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) that will ease traffic flow and improve safety. Illinois is modeling the example set by the state of Missouri by constructing and implementing Diverging Diamond Interchanges across the state. The DDI at the I-88/Route 59 interchange will have many safety benefits, according to IDOT. The DDI will reduce the number of conflict points, that is, potential places where crashes can occur. It will also allow for safer pedestrian and bicyclist crossings, and will eliminate wrong-way entry ramps.
In addition to the reconstruction of the I-88/Route 59 interchange, the Route 59 bridge over I-88 will be widened to allow for three through lanes in each direction. Traffic signals at intersections along Route 59 will be retimed accordingly with the roadway alterations. Sidewalks will be added on each side of Route 59 along the bridge to increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The hope is that these changes will relieve congested traffic and make the roadways and intersections safer, which will in turn help reduce the number of car accidents along Route 59.
In the meantime, however, drivers should be aware of the changes in lane usage due to the construction, and must keep a careful eye out for construction equipment and workers along the roadway. In 2012 alone, IDOT reported that over 3,500 motor vehicle collisions occurred along construction zones in urban areas. Car accidents are still a common occurrence in construction zones and other areas, even in spite of our best efforts to improve traffic safety. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact the DuPage County car accident attorneys at John J. Malm & Associates immediately.