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Local News

State to begin inspecting I-80 bridges ahead of larger repairs

Traffic flows along the Interstate 80 bridge on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Joliet, Ill.
Traffic flows along the Interstate 80 bridge on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Joliet, Ill.

Regularly scheduled inspections of the Interstate 80 bridges over the Des Plaines River will begin April 29 in Joliet, ahead of larger repairs.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced in a news release Thursday that state workers would begin the inspections April 29, weather permitting.

Daily lane closures will be required, starting with the westbound bridge until May 6, when inspections begin on the eastbound bridge.

Inspections on both bridges are expected to be complete by
May 11. The closures will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturdays, if necessary.

The inspections are being done in conjunction with an upcoming yearlong maintenance project on both bridges. Any additional issues will be addressed once construction begins this summer.

The larger project, which is under contract, involves steel repairs and bearing replacements. The process for building new parts has already begun, with work on the bridges expected to start in June or July.

The repairs will be taking place under both structures, with any necessary lane closures scheduled at night to avoid disrupting traffic during the daytime hours. The project will be finished next summer.

The twin I-80 bridges garnered attention earlier this year, when a CBS Chicago news story cited an IDOT inspection report from
April 2018, which listed the westbound bridge superstructure as in “critical condition – may require closure.”

In unrelated work, IDOT will close the south sidewalk over the Jackson Street Bridge starting Monday. The sidewalk will remain closed for a couple of months. One sidewalk will remain open throughout the project.

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