I-44, Lewis construction causes confusion for drivers, problems for apartment residents

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 9/23/2013 11:33 pm Published: 9/23/2013 11:15 pm

The signs say "road closed,” but some drivers exit I-44 at Peoria anyway trying to get to Lewis and drive on through to a dead end.

Four signs in a row warn drivers that the I-44 access road is not open between Peoria and Lewis.

It's only open for access to two apartment complexes, but people aren't paying attention and it's causing problems for apartment residents.
Car, after car, after car. They blow through the signs, and then have to turn around.

Some drivers say there are no road blocks, so the signs aren't clear.

“It's very confusing, very confusing," one driver said.

I spotted one lady who looked hesitant as she drove through. Sure enough, seconds later she turned around.

FOX23 asked her where she thought the access road would lead her.

“Straight through,” Teresa Lorona said. “I didn't realize it closed down there where it did. I thought it would take me on to the other side of Lewis."

However apartment residents, especially Frank Patton, think the signs are more than obvious.

“If people aren't paying attention to the signs, how can they pay attention to drive?" he said. "There's three signs before you get to this corner right here."

FOX23 found one more after that.

It’s a handmade sign that reads “there’s no way out” in big, bold letters.

Most drivers FOX23 spoke with were trying to find a way around the back-up on I-44.

Patton understands that, but he says construction and delays are a must, driving through his residence is not.

"There's no reason to pull up at an apartment complex you don't even live at,” he said. “All you're doing is confusing and making it hard for the people that live there."

FOX23 did find a way around the construction for people wanting to bypass the wait and still make it to Lewis.

Once you exit I-44 at Peoria, turn south on 51st and Wheeling. Then go east on 55th Street, that will take you straight to Lewis.

ODOT officials tell FOX23 the stretch of access road  between Peoria and Lewis should be back open in about a month.

They expect the entire $38 million Lewis project to be finished by early 2014.

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