The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that as part of the ongoing efforts to replace the Interstate 80 bridges over Hickory Creek, Richards Street and Rowell Avenue/Canadian National Railroad, in Joliet, Rockdale and New Lenox, I-80 traffic will be impacted by a stage change scheduled to take place in the westbound lanes beginning, weather permitting, Thursday, May 11.
To prepare for the next stage of the project, starting at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, I-80 traffic will see lane closures westbound, between Briggs and Chicago streets (U.S.52/Illinois 53). At least one westbound lane will remain open to traffic.
All lanes fully reopen by 5:00 a.m. Thursday, when the new traffic pattern will be in place. In the new configuration, westbound I-80 traffic will be shifted onto new pavement; the two westbound lanes will split after Rowell Avenue and will join back together after Richards Street. In addition, the Richards Street ramp to westbound I-80 will close for reconstruction, with an anticipated reopening in summer 2024.
While the ramp is closed, motorists should follow the posted detour to access the expressway.
The new configuration will allow for reconstruction of westbound I-80 bridges over Hickory Creek and Richards Street remaining in place through late summer. Throughout construction two lanes in each direction will remain open to traffic.
For I-80 real-time traffic information and construction updates, visit I-80 Traffic.
The project, which includes replacing the existing bridges with new wider structures, installing new signage and modernized LED lights while reconstructing and widening I-80 from Gardner Street to Rowell Avenue, is expected to be completed later this year.
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 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.