The state continues its work on the Route 30 widening project that will expand the roadway to four lanes. But a case of bad timing has reduced a new section of the road from four to two lanes.
Crews have torn up the north side of Route 30 between Marley Road and Williams Street in New Lenox, which is in front of the restaurant and .
Although that portion of Route 30 was freshly paved before the Walmart development opened in 2010, it was paved with asphalt and the state wants to match it up with the rest of the widening project, which will be paved with concrete.
"All the Walmart stuff was approved before the state actually pulled the trigger on committing to the Route 30 work," village engineer Will Nash said. "It was literally right after the developer bid that stuff out that the state made a change with its philosophy of having concrete."
The long-awaited Route 30 project, , involves reconstructing the roadway, building a second lane in both directions and adding a raised concrete median for nine miles through New Lenox, Mokena and Frankfort.
The $73 million project has always included the short stretch in front of Walmart, but it may have come as a surprise to drivers because the road there is so new.
Nash said one possible reason the state chose to go with concrete is because it typically lasts about five years longer than asphalt. Besides the new pavement, the state is also installing the proper drainage to match it up with the rest of the widening project.
"They're picking up the pieces and connecting the dots and revamping it to match with what will be there as you continue east," Nash said.
Right now the two north lanes are being torn up. The same work will be down in the two south lanes, but Nash said he doesn't know how soon that portion of the project will be finished. His best estimation was before the end of the calendar year.