John fortmann



Keywords: aurora, naperville, route 59
Description: The "diverging diamond" in the rough of the Route 59 road construction project will open to traffic early Monday morning. That's the interchange of Route 59 and Interstate 88 –

The "diverging diamond" in the rough of the Route 59 road construction project will open to traffic early Monday morning.

That's the interchange of Route 59 and Interstate 88 – the first diverging diamond interchange in the Chicago area, and second in the state.

"It might seem a little different at first," said John Fortmann, Illinois Department of Transportation. Region 1, engineer. "But we expect a smooth transition."

The difference is that drivers used to driving on the right will actually move and drive on the left as they cross over the tollway. In doing so, every entrance to the tollway from every direction will be a direct turn – meaning traffic will not cross other traffic, as in a traditional left turn.

In total, there are only two "conflict points," as traffic engineers refer to them, as opposed to about 10 with a traditional interchange.

Officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Toll Highway Authority, Aurora, Naperville and the contractor, Herlihy, announced the opening Friday in a press conference at the Arista Hotel, overlooking the interchange.

Steve Travia, Illinois Department of Transportation District 1 engineer of operations, suggested drivers pay close attention their first time through the diverging diamond.




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