JOLIET – Motorists beware: Starting Monday the Caton Farm Road bridge will become tough to cross.
The four-lane bridge over the DuPage River will be narrowed to two lanes as construction crews begin a project that is expected to last until November.
Traffic congestion is expected to be at its worst during the morning and afternoon rush hours, since the route is used by commuters as a connection between the far West Side of the city and Interstate 55.
The deck is being rebuilt on the bridge located east of Route 59.
City officials are suggesting motorists find other routes during the morning and afternoon commute times. Backups are expected because of the heavy volume of traffic on the road.
“It’s going to be very congested,” Joliet Public Works Director James Trizna said. “The traffic count there is 24,000 to 25,000 cars a day, and there aren’t too many crossroads over the river.”
Caton Farm Road is a major corridor carrying traffic to and from subdivisions in the far West Side of Joliet. Many commuters use it to get to an Interstate 55 frontage road that connects with Route 30, where they can pick up the interstate.
Trizna said commuters will look for other routes through Joliet, Plainfield and Shorewood looking to pick up I-55.
One Joliet option is to take Black Road to Essington Road, which leads to the Louis Joliet Mall area. The Shorewood option is to take Route 59 to Jefferson Street, which connects with I-55. One Plainfield option is taking Route 59 to Route 126, which leads to I-55.
Another Plainfield option, which is to take Renwick Road to Route 30, may not work so well with another construction project taking place on Route 30 near I-55.
Lily Cache Road will be closed at Caton Farm Road because the two roads connect at the bridge where construction will begin.
Councilman Larry Hug, whose District One includes the bridge site, said most of the 31,000 residents on the far West Side of the city probably are unaware of the bridge project.
“It’s going to be well worth the inconvenience when it’s done, but plan ahead,” Hug said.
The work is needed because of the growth and increased use since the bridge was built in the 1980s, when traffic counts were closer to 3,000 a day, Trizna said.
Also scheduled to start Monday is a routine bridge inspection on Interstate 80 over the Des Plaines River in Joliet. Temporary lane closures will take place on I-80 over the river, starting about 2 miles east of Larkin Avenue. The closures will begin on westbound I-80 and switch to eastbound I-80, keeping at least two lanes open to traffic. The inspection is expected to be completed by May 7.