DIXON – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the Illinois Tollway has completed a major rehabilitation of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), providing a better, safer and more durable road for thousands of motorists in Western Illinois. The 30-mile pavement rehabilitation project, commemorated today, was completed only five months after it began, with significant savings. The final cost of $48 million is significantly lower than the $70 million price tag estimated by Tollway planners for the rehabilitation project. The Governor credited the use of “Rubblization” with significantly reducing the cost and completion time of the project.
“This means a smoother, safer ride for the thousands or drivers in Western Illinois who use this portion of I-88 every day,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “The Illinois Tollway applied the right technology to get the job done as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.”
The rehabilitation of this 30-mile section of the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) is part of Governor Blagojevich’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Congestion-Relief Plan, Open Roads for a Faster Future, which will significantly reduce travel times for hundreds of thousands of motorists by rebuilding/restoring 90 percent of the system, widening/adding lanes to nearly half the system – 117 miles of existing roads, converting 20 mainline toll plazas to barrier-free Open Road Tolling, and extending I-355 south to I-80 in Will County. Open Road Tolling lanes are now available at nine mainline toll plazas with the remaining plazas to be converted for non-stop tolling in 2006.
Tollway contractors used a unique technique called “Rubblization,” in which a specialized piece of equipment breaks the existing concrete into smaller pieces to create a crushed, high-quality aggregate base for the new pavement. This process greatly reduced the cost of purchasing new materials and transporting materials to and from the job site, and provides smoother and safer driving conditions for motorists.
The Rubblization project marked the first major rebuilding of the roadway since it opened in the 1970’s. The pavement was in poor condition as concrete joints were showing signs of separation and the surface had deteriorated to the point where ongoing maintenance would no longer be cost effective. The rehabilitated Tollway includes the following features:
- A new asphalt surface has been laid on top of the rubblized concrete for longer durability and a smoother ride.
- A state-of-the-art cable median barrier has been installed to enhance safety for Tollway customers by absorbing the impact of vehicles crossing into the median helping to prevent crossover collisions. The cable barrier is also being installed on the west end of I-90.
- Pavement lane markings are made of highly reflective material to enhance visibility.
- Plowable reflective pavement markers were installed to enhance lane-separation visibility, even under adverse weather conditions. The reflective markings are contoured to accommodate snowplows.
- A rumble strip has been installed on the shoulder to reduce the risk of run-off-the-road accidents. This feature is now a standard on all Tollways.
The Tollway has been working hard to minimize the impact of construction by maintaining the same number of lanes during construction whenever possible, sending alerts to media about temporary lane closures (usually scheduled off-peak), and providing construction and traffic information to the public through the following mechanisms:
· Website, www.illinoistollway.com – Construction Section – for details by road & lane closures
· 1-800-TOLL-FYI – information on any lane closures (attempt to maintain same number of lanes during construction except for temporary, usually off-peak lane closures)
· Roadway & overhead signs, including Dynamic Message Signs
· Tollway eNewsletter – sign up at www.illinoistollway.com
The Illinois Tollway maintains and operates 274 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the North-South Tollway (I-355), the Northwest Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94, I-294, I-80/I-294).