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IDOT Reminds Drivers To Slow Down In Construction Zones

State Says Most Work Zone Crash Fatalities Are The Drivers Themselves

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It might not be prime road construction weather yet, but spring and summer are primed to be full of roadwork projects throughout the Chicago area, so state officials were reminding motorists to go slow in construction zones.

WBBM Newsradio's Bernie Tafoya reports state officials were urging motorists to slow down in work zones, because the vast majority of people who die in construction zone crashes are the motorists themselves.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said, on average, there are 5,000 road construction zone crashes a year in Illinois, resulting in more than 1,800 injuries and 27 deaths.

Last year, 28 people were killed in work zone accidents; of those, 17 were motorists, 5 were passengers, and 3 were motorcyclists.

If those figures don't convince you to go slow in a construction zone, IDOT engineer Terry Fountain had some other data that might do just that.

"The initial fine would be $375. Secondary fines would be up to $1,000, with a potential of loss of license," he said.

Fountain said drivers can expect to see more electronic boards this year displaying vehicles' speeds as they enter work zones.

"We believe that does cause a lot of drivers to actually slow down as they enter into those work zones," he said.

One of the biggest projects includes the expansion of Illinois Route 59 in Naperville, which started last year, and won't be completed until next summer.

This construction season, roadwork on Route 59 will reduce traffic to one lane in both directions between North Aurora Road and Glacier Park Avenue/Meridian Parkway.

In Chicago, work continues on the feeder ramp connecting Stony Island Avenue to the Bishop Ford Freeway.

In Wheaton, a four-year project to widen Butterfield Road continues from east of Winfield Road to west of Naperville Road.

There will be more traffic delays in Tinley Park, Orland Park, and Palos Park as the widening of LaGrange Road continues between 131st and 179th streets.

On the north end of U.S. Route 45, roadwork will continue in Rosemont, Des Plaines, and Schiller Park.

Reconstruction continues on Willow Road between Waukegan Road and the Tri-State Tollway.

Construction on Central Avenue over the Stevenson Expressway should be wrapping up soon.

Along 95th Street in Naperville and Bolingbrook, a new bridge should be completed over the DuPage River.

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