Another Gateway To Rosemont Open
By: Diane Turner-Hurns
Journal & Topics Reporter
It’s done! The newly-constructed Balmoral Avenue exit off southbound Mannheim Road that takes motorists through a tunnel and back up along north Mannheim to a stop sign at eastbound Balmoral in Rosemont, is now handling traffic.
Prior to opening this week, the only direct access to Rosemont from busy Mannheim Road was a north side exit to eastbound Balmoral.
The new exit that alerts motorists with a green Balmoral Avenue directional sign, comes up after the I-190 ramp on Mannheim. It provides a direct link to Rosemont’s entertainment, shopping and convention district for motorists on Mannheim from the north.
The new exit was built as part of the Illinois Dept. of Transportation’s (IDOT) three-year-old reconstruction and widening project of Mannheim Road (U.S. 12/45) from north of Irving Park Road (IL 19) to I-190 and from I-190 to just north of Higgins Road (IL 72). Mannheim was widened from two lanes to three lanes in each direction. The massive project was done to reduce congestion in and around O’Hare Airport. As a result of the new construction, it was a smooth ride for motorists driving along Mannheim Monday afternoon of this week.
IDOT construction included improving four major intersections along the route, which includes those at Montrose Avenue, Lawrence Avenue, Zemke Boulevard, and Higgins Road along with the I-190 interchange. The Higgins and Mannheim road intersection in Rosemont will soon be completed after new traffic lights are installed and landscaping is done.
The overall cost of the three-year Mannheim Road project was $59.6 million. Construction took place in Rosemont, Des Plaines, Schiller Park and Chicago.