Repairs irritate students

By Lisa Ferro

Although segments of Interstate 88 have opened up to two lanes, much of the tollway still is under construction, causing problems for NIU students traveling home on weekends.

Susan Rader, the public relations person for the Toll Highway Authority, said I-88 construction began Aug. 2 as a “rehabilitation and resurfacing process.”

Rader said 69 miles of I-88 have been under construction from Route 56 to Holland Creek.

Currently, about 500 feet of westbound I-88 west from Naperville to Winfield is reduced to one lane of traffic. Also, the westbound road from Sugar Grove to DeKalb Plaza and the east and westbound roads from Dixon to Rock Falls are down to one lane.

NIU biology student Sheryl King of Joliet said she has to travel I-88 every time she goes home from school.

“It’s irritating at night because you have to try not to hit the (barracades) in the middle of the road,” King said, adding it also is hard to determine when the driver is supposed to switch lanes.

Because of the construction, King said she exits sooner than she normally would and takes rural roads home. She also said with the speed limit on I-88 reduced from 65 to 45 mph in some places, it is faster to get home using the rural roads.

NIU communications student Joan Stover of Joliet also is frustrated with the construction.

“It’s a hassle when it’s down to one lane because you have to leave earlier,” Stover said, adding I-88 is worse on the weekends when there are students going home.

Stover also said the slowness of traffic presents a problem when she is traveling on I-88. “There are always semi-trucks driving slow and holding back a mile of traffic,” she said.

Stover also said merging on to I-88 is difficult because of the long lines of traffic. “It’s hard to merge on I-88 because of the back-up traffic from the toll booth,” she said.

Rader said the completion date for the construction is scheduled for the end of November, but she is not sure if it will be done on time.