Willow Road Reconstruction

This site has been created to provide one location where the public can get details about the Willow Road Reconstruction project scope and the construction staging and schedule. The information is intended to help you understand what we will be doing and when the work is anticipated to take place.

As the Department works to make this section of roadway safer for the future, we want to make sure users, residents and local business owners have up to date information on the progress of the project. If you have any questions about the project that have not been answered with the information on this site please use the “Public Participation” section and a response will be sent to you.

Note: IDOT projects typically have three distinct phases. Phase I (or the project Study) consists of developing the project scope, environmental studies and preliminary design of a project. Phase II (Design) consists of refining the design to develop contract plans and land acquisition. Phase III (Construction) consists of the actual construction of the project.

Contract # 60T35 From Illinois Route 43 (Waukegan Road) to I-94

Proposed Work:

  • The scope of work for the reconstruction project includes the following:
    • Willow Road between IL Route 43 (Waukegan Road) and I-94
    • Reconstruct Willow Road to two lanes in each direction separated by a median.
    • Construction of a 5’ to 7’ wide sidewalk.
  • I-94 Westbound exiting to Eastbound Willow Road
    • The ramp terminal at Willow Road will be re-aligned.
    • The exit ramp along I-94 will be widened and reconstructed to provide an additional 1,500 feet of auxiliary lane.
  • Eastbound Willow Road exiting to eastbound I-94 towards Chicago
    • The entrance ramp along I-94 will be widened and reconstructed to provide an additional 1,000 feet of auxiliary lane.
  • Illinois Route 43 – The Roadway will be reconstructed within the intersection of Willow Road for an approximate distance of 1,925 feet and it will provide dual left turn lanes and separate right turn lanes along all four legs of the Willow Road intersection.
  • Sunset Ridge Road – the south leg will be reconstructed for approximately 160 feet.
  • Wagner Road – the south leg will be reconstructed for approximately 160 feet.
  • Traffic signal modernization at Willow Road and IL Route 43, Fox Meadow Drive/Three Lakes Drive, Sunset Ridge Road, Wagner Road, Old Willow Road/Northfield Road and Central Avenue/Happ Road.
  • A pedestrian only signal will be installed on Willow Road at Churchill Street.
  • Pedestrian Safety Features- Continuous sidewalks, Pedestrian push buttons, pedestrian countdown timers. safety islands, lighting, compact corner radii.
  • The traffic signals will be interconnected.
  • Intersection lighting will be provided at Willow Road and Fox Meadow Drive/Three Lakes Drive, Sunset Ridge Road, Wagner Road and at the pedestrian only signal.
  • Roadway lighting is included along Willow Road in the Northfield downtown area between Old Willow/Northfield Road intersection and east of the Central Avenue/Happ Road intersection.
  • Drainage improvements including enclosed storm sewers, ditch/swale modifications, storm water detention and water quality swales.
  • Water main and sanitary sewer improvements are proposed.
  • The existing bridge will be completely reconstructed over the Middle Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River.
  • The existing bridge over the Edens Expressway will be modified to reconstruct the south sidewalk and parapet.
  • Landscaping/Aesthetics: Aesthetics improvements are planned throughout the Willow Road corridor with special emphasis in the downtown area. Aesthetic features include decorative traffic signals, light poles, paver sidewalks (in the downtown area), and an enhanced river crossing bridge design. In addition, landscaping is planned along the parkways and within the raised medians to reflect the character of the community, with intense planting areas at gateway locations. Approximately 1,300 trees/shrubs and over 12,000 perennials will be planted along this 2-mile corridor.

Maintenance of Traffic

  • Anticipating three stages of construction. The first phase will have utility work and pavement reconstruction occurring on the north side of Willow Road.
  • One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained along Willow Road and IL Route 43.
  • The work along the I-94 will keep all lanes open to traffic.

Project Coordination

This project has been coordinated with the following municipalities and agencies:

  • Village of Northfield
  • Village of Glenview
  • Village of Northbrook
  • Village of Winnetka

UPDATE - May, 2015
The completion of the current contract has been extended to the Summer of 2015.

UPDATE - January 22, 2105
The completion of the current contract is expected to be extended to the end of June 2015. Significant delays due to utility relocation and changed site conditions have impacted critical portions of the work. Pavement on IL 43 was completed this year and has been opened to two lanes of traffic in each direction. New pavement on Willow Road has been completed for the WB direction and partially completed for the EB direction. Traffic remains in a single lane in each direction through the work zone. Work is continuing throughout the winter to ensure that project can be completed as quickly as possible. Construction of pavement is expected to commence in the spring. Punch list and landscaping operations are expected to continue into July after the pavement is complete utilizing daytime lane closures.

(Click on image to enlarge)

2013-02-22 Website Aerial Exhibitsmall.jpg

These renderings are available for viewing from our Phase I project website - 25 Recommended Alternative Renderings from Phase 1

As the Willow Road Widening and Reconstruction project progresses, IDOT will periodically update this website to assure that the motorists of Illinois are kept informed of project developments, public involvement opportunities, and construction related activities.

Give Us Your Comments & Suggestions!

If you have questions about the project, please fill out the feedback form or contact us at:

Illinois Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
201 West Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 60196

Please continue to visit the Willow Road Widening and Reconstruction project website for periodic updates throughout the course of the Project.

The Illinois Department of Transportation looks forward to your continued input and support.

Press Releases

April 30, 2014

April 9, 2014

March 27, 2013


 Newspaper articles will be posted here as they become available.


Project Flyer

Photo Gallery