With the forecast calling for more July-level temperatures into the first week of September, construction season will feel right at home, as it not only continues into what is supposed to be early fall but is also launching at least one other major project locally, just in case we were getting nostalgic for the smell of hot asphalt.
Illinois Tollway officials reported this week that 8 million motorists were expected to use their system between Friday and Tuesday. That number is steady from Labor Day weekend in 2017 and up from a reported 7.8 million in 2016.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced last week that a resurfacing project on Grand Avenue in Gurnee is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, right when we’re all headed back to work following summer’s last gasp.
“Improvements to Illinois 132 (Grand Avenue) from west of Interstate 94 (Tri-State Tollway) to Illinois 131(Green Bay Road), in Gurnee and Waukegan, will require lane closures beginning, weather permitting, Tuesday, Sept. 4,” IDOT officials said in a statement.
The statement added that the project consists of not only pavement patching and resurfacing but also curb and sidewalk replacement. It also said to expect work to continue through the end of this construction season and into July of next year, so we have that to look forward to.
There is some actual good news to report on the road construction front — the closure of Route 120 at the Canadian Pacific Railway in Hainesville/Round Lake Park wrapped up a few days earlier than expected this week, liberating motorists who had turned secondary roads into the Eisenhower while trying to avoid the shutdown.
As expected, however, the Canadian National Railway crossing at Lake Street near the entrance to Grayslake Central High School shut down on Monday, Aug. 27, causing its own share of alternate-route shopping this week. As of mid-afternoon on Friday, that crossing remained closed.