Work to begin on I-88 in Lee, DeKalb counties

Traffic heads north and south on Peace Road just north of I-88 Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in DeKalb. This stretch of road is going to be widened to four lanes this summer.

DIXON — Illinois Tollway roadway and local crossroad bridge repair work is scheduled to begin in April on Interstate 88, also known as the Reagan Memorial Tollway, between Beach Creek and Peace Road in DeKalb and Lee counties.

Construction and electronic message signs will be in place in advance to alert drivers about the closures. Up-to-date closure information will be available in the Illinois Tollway’s Daily Construction Alerts. All work is weather dependent.

During the week of April 1, work is scheduled to begin at three locations along I-88 for local crossroad bridge work, including Tower Road and Peace Road in DeKalb County and on the mainline bridge over Beach Creek in Lee County. Off-peak and overnight lane closures will be needed on I-88 for the work, as well as long-term closures on Tower Road and Peace Road.

On Peace Road, beginning the week of April 1 and continuing through the summer, construction is scheduled on the Peace Road Bridge carrying traffic over I-88. Peace Road and the bridge will remain open during construction; however, traffic will be shifted and reduced to a single lane in each direction on the bridge.

Work at Peace Road includes bridge deck and beam repairs, as well as slope wall work. Up to 11,800 vehicles use the Peace Road bridge daily.

On Tower Road, beginning the week of April 1, and continuing through spring, construction is scheduled on the Tower Road bridge carrying traffic over I-88. Tower Road and the bridge will remain open during construction. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane daily during construction, with flaggers maintaining bi-directional traffic. Work at Tower Road includes slope wall repairs and roadway resurfacing.

Lane reductions on the Peace Road and Tower Road bridges are necessary to accommodate traffic while safely completing the work on these local crossroad bridges, according to a news release.

In addition, culvert repair work is also scheduled to begin during the week of April 1 on I-88 over Beach Creek. Long-term shoulder closures and off-peak lane closures on I-88 in both directions will be needed to complete the work.

Work in all three locations is scheduled to be complete this year.

In 2024, the Illinois Tollway is repairing roadway pavement and bridges along the I-88 corridor. Pavement repairs are scheduled between U.S. route 30 to Illinois route 56. Crossroad bridge repairs include Tower Road and Peace Road and mainline bridge repairs are schedule at Illinois route 53. In addition, ramp repair work is scheduled at the DeKalb Oasis. Additional work includes barrier and retaining wall repairs, median repairs, drainage and electrical improvements and landscaping.

All work is being coordinated with the Illinois Department of Transportation, DeKalb County, Kane County, Lee County, Ogle County, Whiteside County, and the city of DeKalb, as well as local government and highway departments and local fire and police departments.

The local crossroad bridges are being repaired to extend the life of structures. The work is funded by the Illinois Tollway’s 16-year, $15 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

Information including maps and construction updates is available on the Tollway’s website at in the Projects section.

Work zone safety

Construction zone speed limits are in effect in all construction zones 24/7 and drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and use caution, especially when workers are present. On I-88, a 65 mph work zone speed limit is in effect throughout the construction season.

The Illinois Tollway reminds motorists that the “Move Over Law” requires motorists to change lanes or to slow down and proceed with caution when passing any vehicle on the side of the road with hazard lights activated. If you see flashing lights ahead, move over or slow down.

Illinois State Police have zero tolerance for drivers speeding in work zones or failure to comply with the Move Over Law. The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $250 with up to a $25,000 fine and a 14-year jail sentence for hitting a roadway worker. Penalties for failure to slow down or move over for a vehicle on the shoulder with flashing lights includes up to a $10,000 fine, 2-year suspension of driving privileges and jail time, in extreme cases.

About Move Illinois

Move Illinois is the llinois Tollway’s 16-year, $15 billion capital program. The first 12 years of Move Illinois are on schedule and within budget, delivering the new Illinois route 390 Tollway and a rebuilt and widened Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) with its new SmartRoad corridor, as well as opening a new interchange connecting the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57. Progress continues on projects addressing the remaining needs of the existing tollway system, delivering the new I-490 Tollway Project and reconstruction of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of roadways in 12 counties in northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.