The dynamics of the Tuesday-night rush changed significantly on Route 64 as motorists sought out alternate routes after two separate gas leaks forced the closure of the highway, already in the throes of a $49 million reconstruction.
One leak occurred about noon at 4051 E. Main St., east of Pheasant Run Resort, but Nicor crews had shut that one down by 1:30 p.m., according to the St. Charles Fire Department.
The larger break, however, which also occurred about noon at Powis Road and Route 64, too much longer to resolve. The Illinois Department of Transportation said Wednesday the highway did not reopen until about 7:30 p.m.
While some local traffic was allowed on the highway after the first gas line break was shut down, the problems did serve to accentuate the headache motorists have been complaining about since construction began on Route 64 in April: When will it end?
The short answer: Late NEXT summer or fall.
The $49.2 million project covers 5.1 miles of Route 64 from Route 59 in DuPage County to 7th Avenue in St. Charles and is, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation's website on the project , divided into three main components.
From 7th Avenue to Dunham Road, Route 64 is being rebuilt and widened. IDOT’s plans include adding a center turn lane and drainage improvements. According to IDOT, the project includes replacing the shoulders with new curbs and gutters as well as modernizing and interconnecting the traffic signals.
From Dunham Road to Kautz Road, the project is simpler: Route 64 will be resurfaced only, with although new curbs and gutters will be added, and shoulder repairs made, in areas along the highway, IDOT says.
From Kautz Road to Illinois 64, more work is planned. In addition to reconstructing the highway, adding a third lane in each direction and new shoulders, the project includes plans to install a landscaped barrier median to separate traffic. The median will have new storm sewers installed underneath. According to IDOT, traffic signals will be upgraded and interconnected from Atlantic Drive to 38th Avenue/East Mall Drive to improve traffic flow, and construction crews will rebuild the Route 64 bridge over the EJ&E and Union Pacific Railroad tracks east of Powis Road.