The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that a project to replace the bridge decks on Interstate 55 over the BNSF Railroad and Grant Creek, south of Arsenal Road in Will County, resumes, weather permitting, Friday, March 6. Temporary northbound lane closures are scheduled the next two weekends with the permanent work zone anticipated to be in place March 16.

Starting at 9 p.m. Friday, March 6, northbound I-55 will be reduced to a single lane between River Road and Arsenal Road. All lanes reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, March 9. The same northbound closures and hours will be in effect, weather permitting, the weekend of Friday, March 13.

The weekend closures are necessary to make temporary pavement repairs so northbound I-55 can accommodate both directions of traffic when work resumes on replacing the southbound I-55 bridge decks.

That will occur on March 16 at 5 a.m., weather permitting, when I-55 will be reduced to a single lane in both directions between River Road and Arsenal Road. Later this construction season, I-55 will remain one lane in each direction but shift to the southbound lanes while the northbound bridge decks are replaced.

The entire project is due to wrap up and all lanes reopen in late fall.

Backups and congestion approaching the work zone should be anticipated at all times. Motorists must slow down, put down their phones and devices, avoid all distractions and give their undivided attention to traffic control signs and changing conditions in and around the work zone.

Special precautions again will be implemented to enhance safety. Signs will be posted several miles in advance in both directions. Temporary rumble strips also will be installed to alert approaching motorists. The work zone speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph, with Illinois State Police dedicating special patrols in the area at all times to enforce all traffic laws.

Additionally, a dynamic merge system, commonly referred to as a zipper merge, will be used this year to help manage congestion and reduce travel times through the work zone. Digital message signs will advise motorists when to move out of the left lane and prepare to enter the work zone.  During uncongested traffic, motorists will be instructed to slow down and move to the right lane well in advance of the work zone.  During more congested periods, drivers will be encouraged to use both lanes, taking turns merging into the open lane at the point the left lane is closed.

Illinois Department of Transportation Press Release