The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that joint repairs and patching to the Interstate 80 bridges, between Rowell and Wheeler avenues, in Joliet, will result in major I-80 traffic delays and require ramp and lane closures over four extended weekends beginning, weather permitting, Friday, March 31.
Starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday, March 31, lane closures will take place on eastbound I-80, between Wheeler Avenue and Gardner Street. Additionally, the ramp from Chicago Street (U.S.52/Illinois 53) to eastbound I-80 will be closed. During that time, motorists should follow the posted detour to access the expressway. At least one eastbound I-80 lane will remain open at all times and westbound I-80 will not be impacted. Eastbound I-80 traffic traveling through the region should consider alternative routes to avoid the area. Local streets are unable to accommodate heavy or wide trucks, so other interstate routes are encouraged. The ramp and all lanes are anticipated to reopen by 5:00 a.m. Monday, April 3.
Additionally, the eastbound I-80 traffic ramp to Richards Street is closed for reconstruction, with an anticipated reopening later this spring. The posted detour directs traffic to exit Briggs Street and re-enter westbound I-80 to access the Richards Street exit.
To complete the project, additional weekend lane and ramp closures are scheduled to take place, from 10L00 p.m. Fridays to 5:00 a.m. Mondays, alternating between westbound and eastbound I-80 for approximately three additional weekends, weather permitting. No weekend closures are scheduled to take place over the Easter holiday weekend (April 7-10).
The work consists of bridge joint repairs to keep the structures in acceptable condition until the larger corridor project can begin. By scheduling the work over multiple weekends this spring, the unplanned, emergency closures that have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years can be minimized. Also, by planning the repairs, they can be performed more safely and allow motorists the opportunity to plan ahead and use alternative routes to avoid the area when feasible.
The overall I-80 project will redesign and rebuild 16 miles from Ridge Road, in Minooka, to U.S. 30, in Joliet and New Lenox, while adding or extending auxiliary lanes to improve safety and reduce congestion. Interchanges will be rebuilt or improved at Interstate 55, Illinois 7, Center Street, Chicago Street, Richards Street and Briggs Street, with a new flyover ramp linking southbound I-55 to eastbound I-80 to improve traffic flow and safety. More than 30 bridges will be rehabilitated or replaced, including those over the Des Plaines River.