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I-80 bridge inspections will close lanes at Des Plaines River in Joliet

The Illinois Department of Transportation partially will close Interstate 80 lanes in Joliet while conducting routine inspections that start next week on the bridges over the Des Plaines River.

The inspections start Monday and are expected to be completed by May 14, weather permitting, according to an IDOT news release.

IDOT is conducting the inspections as it plans to replace the bridge in a two-year project that starts in 2026.

The inspections and lane closures will start with the westbound bridge. IDOT expects to shift to the eastbound bridge May 9.

According to IDOT, traffic impact during the inspections will be minimized by scheduling the work between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and, if needed, Saturdays.

At least two lanes in each direction will remain open during the inspections.

IDOT plans to replace the the two bridges over the Des Plaines River, one eastbound and one westbound, in 2026 and 2027 while also rebuilding the Chicago Street interchange and Center Street interchange.

The work is part of a $1.2 billion I-80 improvement project already underway.

The project runs 16 miles from Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka.

Construction will begin later this year or early 2023 on the Ridge Road end of the project, according to the release.

Advance work on the project began last summer when IDOT began replacing smaller bridges over Hickory Creek, Richards Street, Rowell Avenue and Richards Street.

Auxiliary lanes will be added along the stretch of I-80 at selected interchange locations.

Interchanges also will be will be rebuilt or improved at Interstate 55, Route 7, Richards Street and Briggs Street. A new flyover ramp will be built connecting southbound I-55 to westbound I-80.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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