Key Milestones Reached on I-80 Corridor Project in Illinois

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Illinois I-80 Traffic | Illinois I-80 Construction | I-80 Exit Guide

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) celebrated several important milestones on the $1.3 billion overhaul of Interstate 80. Entering next construction season, an estimated $385 million worth of projects just on I-80’s mainline lanes will be underway on almost 12 miles of the corridor, signaling the start of a major new phase.

The reconstruction of I-80 is replacing more than 50-year-old infrastructure, improving safety, adding capacity, and building new connections across the interstate.

Latest I-80 Completions

Over the weekend, the Houbolt Road interchange in Joliet was converted to a diverging-diamond design, marking substantial completion of a project. The work improves access to North America’s largest inland port.

Other I-80 elements soon to be wrapping up include the Shepley Road and Wheeler Avenue bridges over the interstate, weather permitting. The new structures will accommodate the larger footprint needed to support I-80 capacity and safety enhancements, with pedestrian and bicycle accommodations added to Wheeler Avenue. Similar improvements to the Briggs Street bridge are ongoing and will finish in late 2024, with construction starting on the River Road bridge this winter.

On the west end of the corridor, temporary pavement is being added to I-80’s westbound lanes between Ridge and River roads to accommodate traffic in the work zone during the upcoming construction seasons.

Future Contracts

Finally, IDOT has awarded or is finalizing contracts that will cover nearly 12 miles of improvements to I-80, between Ridge Road and Center Street and from Rowell Avenue to U.S. 30. Once the improvements are complete, tentative for 2026, the final piece on I-80 will begin: the Center Street and Chicago Street interchanges as well as new bridges over the Des Plaines River. The entire project is anticipated to be substantially complete by the end of 2028, with landscaping, bridge demolition, and miscellaneous work extending into 2029.

Project Summary

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, improving travel times and reducing 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.

Also included are projects for people who walk, bike, and roll to help decrease barriers and connect communities, including a new path along Chicago Street from Doris Avenue to Fifth Avenue in Joliet.

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