“This rebuild will transform 16 miles of I-80, redesign auxiliary lanes and interchanges to reduce congestion, and rehabilitate over 30 bridges along the roadway,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. “These overdue improvements will not only make it safer for commercial drivers, but for the thousands of families who rely on I-80 to commute to work, drive their kids to school, and move safely through their daily lives.”
As one of the country’s three coast-to-coast interstates, I-80 through Joliet and Will County carries approximately 80,000 vehicles a day, about 25% of which are trucks. Due to the outdated design and capacity restraints, congestion as well as frequent merging and weaving are common, according to Gov. Pritzker’s office. To shorten the construction timeline, several project components and land acquisition efforts will be done concurrently to deliver the project more quickly, with less impact to the public.
Starting next year, the section from Ridge Road to the DuPage River will be under construction as land acquisition progresses and final engineering is completed on the replacement of the Des Plaines River bridges. Improvements will begin from Ridge Road to U.S. 30 in 2023, leaving construction of the Des Plaines River bridges and Center Street and U.S. 52/Illinois 53 (Chicago Street) interchanges in 2026 and 2027.
When it wraps up in 2027, the overall I-80 project will have redesigned and rebuilt 16 miles 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. Interchanges will have been rebuilt or improved at Interstate 55, Illinois 7, Center Street, Chicago Street, Richards Street and Briggs Street, with a new flyover ramp linking southbound I-55 to westbound I-80 to improve traffic flow and safety. More than 30 bridges will have been rehabilitated or replaced.
The original article can be found at: Road & Bridge