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IDOT to Begin Massive Route 71 Project in May

Apr 23, 2014 06:54PM ● Published by Steven Jack

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The Illinois Department of Transportation is ready to begin its $21 million Route 71 reconstruction project through Oswego.

IDOT engineers were on hand Wednesday afternoon at Village Hall to discuss the project with residents. They say work will begin in May to remove trees and prep the area along 71 from Orchard Road to Route 34. 

Next, a temporary lane will be constructed on the south (OHS) side of the road so that all traffic can be taken out of the west-bound lane and work can begin on the north side. New permanent pavement will start to appear by this fall, said Herb Jung, IDOT district construction engineer. 

When the project is complete, which won't be until the fall of 2016, there will be four lanes running from Orchard to Route 34, including turn lanes along the way. Curbs, gutters, a new storm sewer system and completely new intersections will also be built. 

Jung said the plan is for two lanes of traffic to be open at all times during construction. He said contractors will need occasional access across lanes to move materials, which could cause traffic delays. 

"We would hope that work could done during hours when traffic is lighter, but we can't always predict what contractors will need to do, and when they'll need to do it" he said.

Work around Oswego High School will occur during summer months when school is out. Jung said work may also occur during overnight hours.

"The contractors will work when they have to work," he said. "They don't want to work overnight because it costs them more, but there may be some work at night."

Nearly all utility relocation work has been completed in the construction zone. Jung said only AT&T needs to finish moving some of its data and telephone lines. IDOT has also been cleared to work on land that has been purchased from residents for the project, Jung said.

During construction IDOT will be providing regular construction updates via the village of Oswego website. Those updates can be found by clicking here.

"There may be times when we're moving so fast that we can provide weekly updates, but there may be times when we're moving a lot slower than that," Jung said.
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