Infrastructure Update: Safety improvements at Illinois 40 and Science Ridge Road intersection in Whiteside County begin Nov. 5

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that, weather permitting, safety improvements at the intersection of Illinois 40 and Science Ridge Road north of Sterling in Whiteside County will begin on Friday, Nov. 5. The work is an interim measure to address safety concerns at this intersection until it can be converted it into a roundabout in the future.

Helm Civil of Freeport is the contractor of the $139,823 project, which will convert the intersection from a two-way stop to a four-way stop. Lane closures and lane shifts on Illinois 40 will be utilized during the project, which is scheduled to be completed by spring 2022.

Currently, traffic on Science Ridge Road must stop for traffic on Illinois 40. Raised islands are in place on Science Ridge Road to separate right turns onto Illinois 40. Rumble strips and large stop signs with flashing red beacons warn motorists approaching the intersection.

Interim improvements will add two stop signs with red flashing beacons on Illinois 40 at the intersection. Two raised islands will be installed to separate right turns onto Science Ridge Road. Also, rumble strips and two stop ahead signs with flashing yellow beacons will warn motorists of the intersection.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.

Proposed for this intersection is a conversion into a modern roundabout with a 14-foot-wide circulating single lane. The center of the roundabout and long splitter islands will deflect entering vehicles approaching the roundabout. Also, a 14-foot-wide concrete truck apron, located just outside of the central island, is proposed. This area will accommodate large trucks, farm equipment and emergency vehicles, providing them with an additional area to maneuver through the circle. Entering vehicles would yield to traffic circulating counterclockwise in the circle. Lighting around the roundabout would be installed.

Roundabout construction is in IDOT’s multiyear transportation program. More information about the proposed improvements can be found here.