Wheeler Avenue bridge over I-80 to reopen

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that a project to replace the bridge carrying Wheeler Avenue over Interstate 80, in Joliet, is nearing completion. The bridge is scheduled to reopen, weather permitting, by noon Friday, Dec. 22. The $5.7 million project, made possible by Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program, is part of advance work leading to the $1.3 billion reconstruction ofl-80 through Will County.

Work began earlier this spring to replace the bridge with a new wider structure that will accommodate the widening of I-80 under the bridge. The project also included new storm sewers and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps.

Motorists can expect delays as work continues along I-80 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.