EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that one part of a construction project on Interstate 70 is wrapping up ahead of schedule and reopening on Thursday.

The eastbound lanes of I-70 between Effingham and Montrose have been closed throughout the summer to allow for pavement rebuilding, and construction was originally scheduled to last through November. But good weather throughout the spring and fall has allowed for the lanes to reopen earlier than expected, officials said.

Some closures will remain in place, however. Westbound traffic will continue using the left eastbound lane to get through the construction zone. Officials said the continued closure allows workers to correct the striping at the median crossovers, after temporary striping was used over the summer. Past this location, all eastbound lanes will be open.

The overall $50 million project is part of Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois Capital Program. It involves a seven-mile reconstruction of I-70, from just east of the I-57/70 interchange to just east of Montrose. The reconstruction also includes the replacement of the east and westbound I-70 bridges over the Montrose Blacktop.

Westbound I-70 traffic will continue using the eastbound lane until the barrier wall is removed late next week. Striping and pavement repairs will continue until late this month while work on the westbound lanes will begin in March 2024. This will again reduce I-70 to one lane in each direction.

IDOT also reminded drivers that the area continues to be a work zone and delays should be expected. Drivers are urged to proceed with caution through work zones.