One of the larger-scale traffic headaches in the Stateline area is about to come to an end.
The Illinois Department of Transportation says that work at the I-39 interchange with US 20 at the south edge of Rockford will be open to traffic on Thursday, just ahead of the busy Labor Day weekend travel period.
The westbound ramp from U.S. 20 onto southbound I-39 has been closed since July 11th because officials say the ramp is too narrow to allow for both safe construction work and traffic at the same time. As a result, traffic seeking to go from I-90 and U.S. 20 to southbound I-39 was detoured several miles west to the 11th Street exit where traffic could then use the cloverleaf interchange to exit onto southbound 11th Street and then use the onramp to get back on U.S. 20 east. From there, motorists would drive back to the I-39 interchange where they could use the open U.S. 20 eastbound onramp to southbound I-39.
In addition, the highway department also closed the Alpine Rd. exit from westbound U.S. 20 because they didn’t want vehicles attempting to use that as a detour, as it is a stoplight controlled intersection which would involve two left turns to turn around.
The route has a lot of truck traffic, and there have been significant backups at times as a result of the ramp closure and detour.
The cost to repair both I-39 bridges over U.S. 20 cost $697,519.