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News

I-55 bridge work resumes Friday

Traffic slows in the northbound lane of Interstate 55 south of Channahon in August 2019.
Traffic slows in the northbound lane of Interstate 55 south of Channahon in August 2019.

Lane closures will begin Friday on the Interstate 55 bridge south of Arsenal Road near Channahon, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced.

The closures are for the bridge replacement project that was underway last year but halted for the winter.

The bridge crosses the BNSF Railroad and Grant Creek.

At 9 a.m. Friday, northbound I-55 will be reduced to a single lane between River Road and Arsenal Road, IDOT said Thursday in a news release announcing the work schedule.

All lanes will reopen at 5 a.m. Monday. The northbound lane closure will occur again the following weekend starting 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," IDOT said in the news release.

The deck replacement work will begin at 5 a.m. March 16, when I-55 will be reduced to single lanes in both directions between River Road and Arsenal Road.

The entire project is expected to be completed in late fall with all lanes reopening then.

IDOT advises motorists to be aware that backups and congestion should be expected at all times.

A number of safety measures are being implemented. They include:

• Signs posted several miles in advance in both directions

• Installation of temporary rumble strips to alert motorists

• Speed limit reductions to 45 mph in the work zone

• Dedicated state police patrols at all times

IDOT also said a "dynamic merge system" will be used for the area.

"Digital message signs will advise motorists when to move out of the left lane and prepare to enter the work zone," the release said. "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."

IDOT said updates on the project's impact on traffic will be posted at www.travelmidwest.com.

Motorists need to "give their undivided attention to traffic control signals and changing conditions in and around the work zone," IDOT said.

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