Road closures back for spring

Marney Simon

Spring has sprung!

And just as allergies are sure to cause headaches, so are traffic hassles.

Signs are already hung for road closures headed to the area as the first wave of construction to hit Braidwood, with closures already underway on Strip Mine Road affecting traffic on the Coal City Road between Wilmington and Braidwood.

Closer to home, traffic is getting ready to come to yet another halt on Route 53 between Center Street and Division Street.

City crews helped remove a fire hydrant at Route 129 and Division Street last week, in preparation for more work at the intersection with the railroad crossing.

“The railroad is closing south Division at 53 on April 14,” Commissioner Jim Hutton said. “First it was the 3rd, now it’s the 14th. At the same time they’re doing Strip Mine Road in Wilmington. It can change at the drop of a hat, but they’re closing Strip Mine Road also, so it’s going to get interesting pretty quick.”

In order to complete the Chicago to St. Louis High Speed Rail (HSR) program work, Strip Mine Road is closed at the railroad tracks west of Route 53 in Wilmington, bringing traffic to a detour alongdetouring traffic to Coal City Road.

Daily lane closures will continue to take place on Route 53, as needed. The closures will reduce the roadway to one lane with flaggers while construction activities are in progress.

Route 53 traffic will be shifted to temporary pavement.

The overall project is expected to be completed in fall 2017.

City leaders reminded drivers to take care when driving around town, and between Braidwood and Wilmington.

“Just be patient,” said Commissioner Eric Tessler. “I know the weather is getting nicer, and everyone wants to get home from work faster and enjoy the evening, but just be patient. Heads up on kids on bikes, they’re going to start riding them all over the place again.”

Information on closures on state roads as well as HSR updates can be found online at