I-80 bridge in Joliet needs fixes, work slated for spring

By Grant Morgan | Capitol News Illinois
March 19, 2019

Interstate 80 bridge over the Des Plaines River in Joliet. | Google Earth

Interstate 80 bridge over the Des Plaines River in Joliet. | Google Earth

SPRINGFIELD – The bridge on Interstate 80 that spans the Des Plaines River has garnered recent media attention after state inspectors in a report early last year described sections of it as “critical,” “intolerable” and a “high priority for replacement.”

Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee brought a panel of three witnesses to discuss the bridge’s conditions.

“There’s a whole lot of [industrial] growth going on there, and our municipalities are attempting to deal with it as best they can,” said Hugh O’Hara, executive director of the Will County Governmental League. “But concerns about the safety of the bridge are making that more and more difficult.”

About 18 percent of I-80 traffic is freight vehicles, according to Carl Puzey, the Illinois Department of Transportation’s chief engineer for bridges and structures.

Puzey’s colleague, IDOT Director of Highways Paul Loete, said freight traffic generally causes a high degree of wear and tear on roads and bridges.

“And there’s no question that if you look at our bridges up and down I-80 from Iowa to Indiana,” Loete added, “that corridor maintains a high degree of truck traffic, and bridges are in general less than their ideal service lives because of it.”

Read the full article.


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