Coolidge Update: Rain, Wrong Way Traffic Challenge Road Project
Weather Friday and Monday morning 'rained out' the Coolidge construction workers, the Huntington Woods project manager said.
Despite rain days and awry traffic, the construction project to repave Coolidge Highway remains significantly on track, according to its project manager.
“We got rained out Friday. It was too wet, and we actually got rained out (Monday) morning, but overall, things are on schedule,” Larry Harworth explained.
Pipes for the water mains are being set and the previous concrete has been milled away, he said, and the Huntington Woods road is still expected to reopen by mid-September.
One issue Harworth has seen with the road being broken up is that drivers are still attempting to travel north on Coolidge. He explained that with two-thirds of the road gone, just the turn lane and southbound lane are available as the project works to repave the northbound lane.
“We’ve got it clearly (marked) out there, with barrels and signs, but some people just have their goal from point A to point B and need to go northbound. So, some try it,” he said. “Police have handed out a lot of tickets – and it’s double the fine in construction zones.”
Harworth said quite a few people drivers have been going the wrong way on the Oak Park side. He explained that oftentimes drivers go west along the service drive of Interstate 696 to get on Coolidge and still turn right to go north, even though there are signs saying the road is closed. This leaves them with no choice but to drive along the closed turn lane — or into oncoming traffic.
The turn lane is supposed to be used by workers and construction personnel only and could create a hazardous situation, Harworth said.
“I saw that Friday. Twice,” he added.
Harworth said workers will continue to flag down drivers to avoid a potentially dangerous situation when they see it.
“As far as traffic issues, that’s the only thing,” he said. “Other than that, things are moving along.”