If you've never said that Rockford has two seasons, winter and construction, then you've heard someone else say it at one time or another.

The snarky tone behind that whole "winter and construction season" usually implies that both of those seasons are endless. Sometimes winter does hang on longer than we feel it should, and so do construction zones in the Rockford area. But, mercifully, winter leaves us, and road construction/repair jobs do finally get finished up.

Case(s) in point: The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) just announced the completion of three projects with an estimated cost of around $55 million here in the Rockford area.

In their announcement, IDOT says that the improvements "will enhance safety and mobility while helping to grow the regional economy and create jobs." And that "these projects will not only benefit the Rockford area today, but for generations to come."

What are the completed projects? Glad you asked.

IDOT (tip of the hat to 23 WIFR News):

  • Illinois 251 rehabilitation: The $11.8 million project patched and resurfaced I-251, from Forrest Hills Road, in Machesney Park, to the Wisconsin state line. The median at Illinois 75 was reconstructed, new guardrail was installed and traffic signals were modernized at multiple locations.
  • Interstate 39 resurfacing: The $20 million project installed new guardrail and resurfaced I-39 from Baxter Road to Harris Avenue, along with U.S. 20 from just west of Alpine Road to I-39.
  • U.S. 20-Illinois 2 interchange: The $24 million project reconfigured the cloverleaf interchange at U.S. 20 and Illinois 2 to a signalized diamond interchange, with dedicated turn lanes, improved drainage, shoulders and a raised median at Illinois 2. The project also rebuilt the dual structure bridge that carries U.S. 20 over Illinois 2.

IDOT points out that while the construction part of the jobs is virtually complete, there will still be ongoing work with landscaping and other finishing touches, and that there may be the occasional lane closure throughout this month.

So, would you rather see a video about highway repairs, or a video about blowing up stuff? For me, it's no contest: