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Illinois road project plagued by delays

The North Aurora Road construction project in Naperville, Illinois expected to be completed by last fall continues facing delays, according to city officials.

The $10.1 million project to widen and improve the roadway between Frontenac Road and Weston Ridge Drive west of Route 59 began in 2021 and was expected to be complete by last fall, however, “various factors have contributed to significant setbacks,” Bill Novack, director of transportation, engineering and development, wrote in a report to the city.

An equipment operator strike in 2022 shut down work for seven weeks, pushing construction into 2023 and then an explosion at the paving contractor’s facility halted production of liquid asphalt.

Roadway construction resumed in April with contractors conducting pavement removal, curb and gutter work and asphalt paving.

However, liquid asphalt from a new supplier failed tests by the Illinois Department of Transportation, causing another delay.

The first phase of the project is now expected to be completed late this summer and phase two – replacing the 110-year-old railroad bridge over North Aurora Road, is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

The second phase of work will improve the Canadian National/Wisconsin Central Railroad bridge over North Aurora Road in collaboration with the Naperville Township Road District and the City of Aurora (as each agency has jurisdiction over a portion of the roadway along this corridor).

The scope of the project consists of replacing the roughly 110-year-old railroad bridge with a new structure that will span the newly expanded five traffic lanes on North Aurora Road, as well as the multi-use trail and sidewalk. In addition, roadway lighting, a pump station and increased vertical clearance will be provided.

Construction on this phase of the project is tentatively projected to be complete in 2025.

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