The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that routine inspections of the Interstate 80 bridges over the Des Plaines River, in Joliet, will begin, weather permitting, Monday, April 26.
To complete the inspections, daily lane closures will be required, starting with the westbound bridge until May 3, when inspections begin on the eastbound bridge. Inspections on both bridges are expected to be complete by May 8, weather permitting.
To minimize the impact to traffic, the closures will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Saturdays, if necessary. A minimum of two lanes in both directions will remain open during inspections.
Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment.
The replacement of the Des Plaines River bridges and larger improvements to I-80 in Will County are a cornerstone project in Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program, which will invest $33.2 billion in transportation infrastructure across all modes throughout the state. The estimated $1.2 billion in improvements along the I-80 corridor is included in IDOT’s 2021-2026 Proposed Highway Improvement Program. Construction is currently targeted for the later years of the program, contingent on plan readiness and land acquisition.
In addition to replacing the bridges, the project will reconstruct 16 miles of I-80, from Ridge Road in Minooka to U.S. 30 in Joliet and New Lenox, while adding or extending auxiliary lanes to improve safety and reduce congestion, as well as improving interchanges at I-55, Illinois 7, Center Street, U.S. 52/Illinois 53, Richards Street and Briggs Street.