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Local

Rail work to close Ottawa's Columbus Street north of Norris Drive next week

The rail crossing on Columbus Street in Ottawa will be under construction starting Tuesday, thus closing Columbus Street for two days. IDOT advises drivers to utilize Interstate 80 and Route 71 to get around, but local drivers are able to commute through neighboring streets to avoid the closure.
The rail crossing on Columbus Street in Ottawa will be under construction starting Tuesday, thus closing Columbus Street for two days. IDOT advises drivers to utilize Interstate 80 and Route 71 to get around, but local drivers are able to commute through neighboring streets to avoid the closure.

Those looking to get to the north side of Ottawa next week will have to look for a detour route.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced the four-lane Columbus Street, which is Route 23, will be closed at the railway crossing south of Freemont Street beginning Tuesday for two days to allow Illinois Railway to repair the crossing.

Steve Klein, of IDOT, said the repairs will be slightly raising the track and refastening the rail in preparation for the nearby milling and resurfacing project.

The state agency advises northbound travelers take their detour route by traveling east on Norris Drive, which is Route 71, to Interstate 80 then west onto Interstate 80 back to Route 23, on exit 90.

Southbound traffic can travel east on Interstate 80 to Route 71, on exit 93, then south on Route 71 back to Route 23.

Klein said the detour route was designed with semi-tractors in mind, and drivers in smaller vehicles familiar with the area can take other routes.

For smaller vehicles or local traffic, Post and Guion streets are often used as an alternative route and are accessible off of Norris Drive and Jones Street.

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