Drivers who use the southbound I-255 Jefferson Barracks Bridge to enter Missouri will need to utilize alternate routes through at least the end of the week, as the southbound interstate Bridge will remain closed for inspections and anticipated repairs.
The bridge closed on Sunday, after a routine inspection found a six-foot crack under the weld of a critical portion of the bridge's structure. Further inspections have found similar cracks in other comparable locations of the westbound bridge, but none of them are as severe as the initial crack found on Sunday.
Inspection crews are near completion of the more in-depth evaluation on the I-255 bridges across the Mississippi River. It is still uncertain when MoDOT will be able to verify the bridge is safe and reopen it. A part of that determination will be completed late tomorrow afternoon after MoDOT receives the results of extensive lab tests on the portions of the bridge where cracks were discovered.
Once MoDOT receives the results from the lab report tomorrow, they will be able to determine if the bridge can be reopened or if they will have to look at constructing a cross-over to move lanes of westbound I-255 to the eastbound bridge. Until such time, the marked detour remains I-255 north to I-55 south and its use is strongly encouraged.
Additional field and communications staff will be active during each morning commute to ensure ample motorist assistance and direction is available for the duration of this closure. If possible, consideration should be given to using MetroLink, mass transit, telecommuting and/or shifting commute times. At a minimum, commuters should consider getting onto the interstate system as soon as possible and using all Mississippi River crossings between Illinois and Missouri.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that overnight lane and ramp closures will take place on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), in Chicago, weather permitting, Saturday, May 11, in order to adjust lane configurations in the work zone as part of the ongoing Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction.
The change to the work zone will accommodate the continued construction of new pavement on the inbound expressway and require reducing Ida B. Wells Drive to one lane for approximately two weeks.
Starting at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, the inbound Eisenhower will be reduced to two lanes between Damen Avenue and the Old Chicago Post Office. At 1 a.m. Sunday, the inbound Eisenhower will be reduced to a single lane, with the inbound Eisenhower ramp to the outbound Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) closing. The inbound Eisenhower ramp to the outbound Kennedy will reopen at one point during the overnight hours, with the inbound Eisenhower ramp to the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) closing. Detours will be posted while the ramps are closed.
The new traffic configuration will be in effect by 8 a.m. Sunday.
In the new configuration, three inbound Eisenhower lanes will be split near Ashland Avenue. Motorists traveling to Ida B. Wells Drive should stay in the left lane. Motorists traveling to the outbound Kennedy and outbound Dan Ryan should be in the right two lanes.
Additionally, the inbound Eisenhower as it merges into Ida B. Wells Drive will be reduced to one lane. By May 28, a second lane will reopen, with Ida B. Wells traffic in the two left lanes.
Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that a lane closure will be installed on I-74 in Rock Island County.
5/1 UPDATE: Due to continued rains and additional inclement weather in the forecast, the lane closures and inspection schedule for the westbound bridge have been cancelled for the remainder of the week. They will be rescheduled to take place after Memorial Day and announced prior. Weather permitting, the inspections still are planned for the eastbound structure next week.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that regularly scheduled inspections of the I-80 bridges over the Des Plaines River, in Joliet, will begin 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, weather permitting.
The closures will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Saturdays, if necessary. A minimum of two lanes will remain open while inspections are taking place.
Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and remain alert for workers and equipment.
The inspections are being done in conjunction with an upcoming yearlong maintenance project on both bridges. Any additional issues discovered during the inspections will be addressed once construction begins in the field later this summer.
The larger project, currently under contract, involves steel repairs and bearing replacements. The process for fabricating new parts as 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.
Click here to find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1. Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that construction will resume on the I-55-Weber Road interchange, in Bolingbrook and Romeoville, weather permitting, Thursday, April 11. Motorists traveling through this area should expect delays and plan accordingly.