Inspections on I-80 bridges   over Des Plaines River begin May 6

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that routine inspections of the Interstate 80 bridges over the Des Plaines River, in Joliet, will begin, weather  permitting, Monday, May 6. 

To complete the inspections, daily lane closures will be required, starting with the westbound  bridge until May 10, when inspections begin on the eastbound bridge. Inspections on both  bridges are expected to be complete by May 17, weather permitting.  

To minimize the impact to traffic, 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 in both  directions will remain open during inspections.  

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 replacement of the Des Plaines River bridges and larger improvements to I-80 in Will  County are a cornerstone project in Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program, which  will invest $33.2 billion in transportation infrastructure across all modes throughout the state.  

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 through and/or auxiliary lanes to  improve safety and reduce congestion. Interchanges will be rebuilt or improved at Interstate 55,  Illinois 7, Center, Chicago, Richards and Briggs streets, 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. The projected $1.3  billion project is anticipated to be substantially complete by the end of 2028, with landscaping,  bridge demolition and miscellaneous work extending into 2029.