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Under construction

PRINCETON – This week, Gov. Pat Quinn announced $486 million in road and bridge projects that will begin this spring and summer. Three of these projects will materialize in Bureau County.

A $2.5 million project will include milling and resurfacing asphalt on Route 6, beginning just east of Sheffield to Hazelwood Drive in Wyanet. The work is estimated to begin around mid-June and end sometime in September.

Joe Spika, construction field engineer at Illinois Department of Transportation, confirmed the project will include updates to sidewalk curbs and ramps. Lane closures on Route 6 are expected during the time of the project.

A second project expected to begin this summer includes updates at the Great Sauk Trail rest area, located five miles west of Route 26, on Interstate 80. The project carries a $500,000 price tag. Updates to gutters, curbs and concrete are needed along with pavement patching in some areas. The work will be conducted in the truck parking portion of the rest area.

Spika confirmed the rest area will remain open, however, truck parking will be unavailable.

Lastly, $254,000 has been set aside for a surface treatment project starting at the Manlius corporate limits to County Highway B. Surface treatment consists of using oil and aggregate chips, which are rolled and compressed into the roadway. The treatment seals low-to-medium severity cracks in the pavement surface. Lane closures are expected to take place during the project as well.

According to a press release issued through Quinn’s office, IDOT is offering a reimbursement rate of $10 an hour for hiring graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, which is an IDOT-sponsored initiative to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in the transportation contraction industry.

Other projects taking place in or near Bureau County this summer:

• Spika explained a project, which consists of painting the Interstate 180 bridge over the Illinois River near Hennepin, is expected to begin in May. The $351,000 project is expected to take a couple months to complete and will require lane closures on the interstate. Crews will be repainting the expansion joints on the bridge, which have rusted and are showing deterioration.

• The project on Interstate 80, just east of the Princeton exit, is in its last year before completion. The $18.8 million project, which is being completed by Advanced Asphalt, begins one mile west of the Princeton exit and stretches 6 to 8 miles to just east of Interstate 180. Spika confirmed crews are, for the most part, performing the same work that took place on the opposite side of the interstate last year. The work includes pavement removal and the laying of new pavement and patchwork. Reconstruction on the bridge over the BNSF Railway is taking place, as well as, superstructure replacement on the bridge over Route 34. The current road conditions include lane closures and head-to-head traffic. Spika said road conditions should be back to normal by Labor Day, but work will continue to proceed with individual lane closures and flaggers to direct traffic through the construction zone.

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