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Local News

I-80 bridge, I-55 interchanges, more included in state transportation plan

Traffic flows along the Interstate 80 bridges Feb. 14 in Joliet. The Illinois Department of Transportation Multi-Year Plan includes 16 miles of reconstruction on I-80 from Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka.
Traffic flows along the Interstate 80 bridges Feb. 14 in Joliet. The Illinois Department of Transportation Multi-Year Plan includes 16 miles of reconstruction on I-80 from Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka.

The state five-year transportation plan released Monday includes money for Interstate 80 improvements and several Interstate 55 interchange projects in Will County.

The Illinois Department of Transportation Multi-Year Plan includes 16 miles of reconstruction on I-80 from Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka.

The I-80 project includes replacement of the bridges over the Des Plaines River and reconstruction of the interchanges at Chicago and Center streets in Joliet.

“We’re looking at four to five years of construction,” IDOT District One engineer Anthony Quigley said.

Construction will start in two years, Quigley said. Replacement of the bridges may not start for another three years because the state needs to acquire 43 parcels of private property.

Other local projects in the 5-year plan include:

• Construction of new I-55 interchanges at Airport Road in Romeoville and at Route 126

• Construction of a new I-55 interchange at Route 126

• I-55 improvements between I-80 and Route 52 (Jefferson Street) that include reconstruction of the Route 59 interchange, which is needed for the Rock Run Crossings project planned in Joliet

• I-55 improvements from Lorenzo Road to Route 129, including reconstructed interchanges

• Route 52 (Jefferson Street) improvements from Houbolt Road in Joliet to River Road in Shorewood

• Route 53 (Chicago Street) improvements from Route 52 in Joliet to Arsenal Road in Elwood

Many of the projects, including the I-80 improvements, were announced in June with the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois plan. But the schedule for those projects awaited the release of the MYP.

The MYP provides $23.5 billion for projects from 2020 through 2025, according to a statement released with the plan.

“Due to the enactment of the Rebuild Illinois capital program in June, IDOT’s highway program is double its originally estimated size,” IDOT said in the statement.

“However,” the statement says, “the state’s roads in need of repair are so significant that even with the additional funding, not all roads and bridges will be able to be addressed in the next six to 10 years and are being prioritized by objective criteria.”

Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said in a telephone media conference that the state faced the prospect of closing bridges and other actions before Rebuild Illinois replenished highway maintenance funds.

“It was not a pretty picture,” Osman said.

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