ITASCA – DuPage County residents will soon have a more manageable commute to O'Hare International Airport.
Three ramps connecting I-290 to the new Illinois Route 390, formerly known as the Elgin O'Hare Expressway, are scheduled to open in time for the July 27 morning commute.
Part of the $3.4 billion Elgin O'Hare Western Access project, crews will continue working over the weekend to put the finishing touches on the first three ramps of the I-290 Interchange Project.
On July 24, Officials from DuPage County, Illinois Tollway, Illinois Department of Transportation and several local towns including Itasca, Bensenville, Franklin Park and Addison were on hand to celebrate the opening of the ramps, which are being lauded as a game changer for both daily commuters and local residents traveling to O'Hare.
“Opening these new ramps represents the realization of a decades-long vision for the western suburbs,” Illinois Tollway Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom said. “Motorists will begin to realize the benefits of a world-class, modern roadway relieving congestion today and opening the way for improved access to O’Hare International Airport.”
The new I-290 Interchange will feature new third-level, multi-span flyover ramp bridge structures that will pass over both I-290 and Illinois Route 390. Additionally, a new flyover ramps will provide free-flow travel between I-290 and Illinois Route 390.
As a result, by the morning of July 27, commuters will have access to a ramp from westbound I-290 to westbound Illinois Route 390 and a ramp from eastbound I-290 to westbound Illinois Route 390, eliminating the signalized intersection at Thorndale Avenue.
A new ramp from westbound I-290 to eastbound Illinois Route 390 will also open in time for the July 27 morning commute, according to the Illinois Tollway.
IDOT began construction this month on the second flyover ramp that will carry I-290 eastbound traffic to eastbound Illinois Route 390, with completion scheduled by the end of 2017.
“The Tollway’s completion of these initial ramps brings us one step closer to realizing the full benefits of a new interchange connecting I-290 and the new Illinois Route 390,” Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov said. “The Elgin O’Hare Western Access Project will enable the Chicago region to retain and strengthen its competitive edge over other major cities and unlock the economic potential of the region in the years ahead.”
The I-290 Interchange Project will cost about $440 million and altogether will include 17 ramps and 15 new bridges in the interchange area between Meacham/Medinah Road and Prospect Avenue, including the new I-290 Interchange, the new Rohlwing Road Bridge and frontage roads, local access improvements and part of the new Illinois Route 390 roadway, according to an Illinois Tollway news release.
The I-290 project is part of the $3.4 billion Elgin O'Hare Western Access Project, which is included in the Tollway's "Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Moving the Future," according to the release.
The Illinois Tollway has pledged $3.1 billion toward the Elgin O'Hare Western Access project, leaving local municipalities to cover the remaining $300 million.
During the July 24 ceremonies, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said the county has secured about $112 million in funding.