The intersection of Grand Avenue and Route 41 in Gurnee is fully reopened after more than 12 years of multi-stage construction to improve the congested intersection, officials said.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) completed the last part of the project on Tuesday, which included the installation of permanent traffic signals.
For the first time, Grand and Route 41 will now allow traffic simultaneously in both directions after additional turn lanes were installed under the widened railroad bridge.
IDOT’s contractor only has to complete “minor checklist items” and final cleanup of the area, the Village of Gurnee said on Wednesday.
“We want to thank the extraordinary patience of our residents, visitors and businesses during this 4+ year project to widen the railroad bridge span,” the village said in a statement.
Gurnee officials said they encourage those who have avoided the intersection to support the businesses east of Route 41 that have “patiently weathered this ongoing construction project.”
The first stage of the project began in 2009 to fix the backup of cars exiting Route 41 to Grand Avenue and to address safety concerns for cars merging onto Route 41 from Grand Avenue.
The second stage of the project started in April 2017 when IDOT began working on the railroad bridge replacement east of the intersection.
IDOT’s contractor built a temporary railroad structure and widened the underpass to allow for additional lanes on Grand Avenue, IDOT said. Pedestrian accommodations were also built.
The work was scheduled to be completed in May 2019. It is unclear what caused the delays in the project.