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Yorkville's Rt. 47 project to impact Oswego traffic : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Yorkville's Rt. 47 project to impact Oswego traffic
IDOT_to detour Rt. 47 traffic onto Orchard Rd. bridge May 29-June 9

by Tony Scott


Work on the railroad crossing in downtown Yorkville later this month into June will cause the closure of Route 47, and officials say local motorists should use Hydraulic Avenue at their own risk during construction.

Herb Jung, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) project engineer on the Route 47 widening, told a group of business leaders at a Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday morning that the agency expects OmniTrax, the owner of the railroad, to close the crossing on May 29, with an anticipated finish date of June 9.

Jung said the state designated detour will be the Orchard Road bridge east of Yorkville near Oswego, which can be accessed by Route 34 and Route 71.

"State Route 47 will be listed as 'closed' at the Hydraulic Street crossing," Jung said.

While Jung would not recommend a detour for local traffic, city officials said Hydraulic Avenue will be open to local traffic.

However, City Administrator Bart Olson cautioned that the street will be closed intermittently during construction, and that motorists who use that detour might get stuck in traffic during such closures.

As a result, the city is also recommending that motorists use the Orchard Road bridge as a detour around the railroad crossing.

Jung said the work would take approximately 10 days but "hopefully much less if the weather cooperates."

Jung said the contractor, D Construction of Coal City, has completed its underground work south of the Fox River to Route 71 along Route 47 and now they "have been making great strides on paving."

"We're to a point in the project now south of the river, that the project's going to move along by leaps and bounds," he said.

Motorists will soon see the traffic "flip" to the southbound lanes of the Fox River bridge, he said, to accommodate the new traffic pattern.

He said residents should expect to see all the paving on Route 47 south of the river to be completed by Labor Day.

"All of the sidewalks should be in, and we're going to try to do as much landscaping as we can get done - sod and turf and those kinds of things - before winter," he said.

Either this week or next week, crews will start working from the river north to put in storm sewers, Jung said.

"This will be a slow go," he said.

Jung explained that crews will have to cut through deep rock while trying to install storm sewers. He said the underground work on the north side should be wrapped up by the end of summer, however.

After Labor Day, Jung said, the contractor plans to bring a paving crew to the north side of the river, removing old pavement and trying to "maintain as much access" as possible to homes, businesses and cross streets.

He said it's "questionable" if the contractor will tear into the Route 47 and Route 34 intersection this year. If they start, they will begin in October, he said; if not, wait until next spring.

Jung said the intersection is "not easy, because of all the traffic that's already there, and we can't shut anything off."

"It will have to be done by little puzzle pieces," he said.

Future Route 47 work

More work on Route 47 is also either starting or being planned, using funds that were supposed to go toward the Prairie Parkway expressway project.

Jung said IDOT will most likely let bids in late fall or winter for the widening of Route 47 from the Kendall-Grundy county line to just south of Yorkville.

Also, plans for widening the highway north of Yorkville and beyond the Kendall-Kane line are "under study currently," with construction dollars to "come out of the Prairie Parkway pot of money," Jung said.

Jung said the "biggest issues" crews will face going north of Yorkville are the two railroad viaducts - on the north side of Yorkville and in Sugar Grove. They will have to build temporary tracks and take other measures, he said.

"Those will be huge dollar projects, because they deal with passenger rail, and you can't mess with Amtrak," he said.

However, Jung said there is "no timeframe" on the future Route 47 projects north of Yorkville.

'...a lot of activity'
in Kendall County

Jung said there is still work to be done on the Route 34 project in Plano. However, he expects that job to "definitely wrap up by summer's end."

Regarding the Route 71 project, he said the stretch from Orchard Road to Route 34 in Oswego is starting this month after waiting for utilities to do their work. He said the Route 71 project is expected to run through this year, next year and into 2016.

"That will be tore up for a while," he said.

The plans for project to widen Route 34 from Route 47 to Orchard Road are "nearly complete" and the project should go out to bid sometime next year, Jung said.

"So there's a lot of activity" in Kendall County, he said.

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