The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that as part of the ongoing reconstruction of the Briggs Street bridge over Interstate 80, in Joliet, a stage change is schedule to take place, weather permitting, Thursday, Dec. 21. The project is part of advance work leading to the $1.3 billion reconstruction of I-80 through Will County.
To prepare for the next stage of the project, prior to the morning rush, Thursday, Dec. 21, crews will begin shifting both directions of Briggs Street traffic onto the newly constructed southbound structure so that work can begin on the northbound side. During that time, motorists can expect flaggers and intermittent traffic stops in both directions of Briggs Street before the bridge. The new traffic pattern is anticipated to be in place by the end of the day.
In the new configuration Briggs Street will remain one lane in each direction, with lane widths reductions and no shoulders over the bridge. Motorists should also expect shoulder and occasional overnight lane closures on I-80 at the bridge during that time.
The $7.3 million project, which involves replacing the existing bridge with a new structure to accommodate the widening of I-80, is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2024.
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. 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.