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Lane Closures on Ohio Feeder for Bridge Work
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that repairs on the Milwaukee Avenue bridge over the Ohio Street feeder ramp, will begin, weather permitting, April 1.
To accommodate the work, starting at 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 1 to mid-May, the ramp from the inbound Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to eastbound Ohio Street will be reduced from two to one lane between the mainline Kennedy and Milwaukee Avenue.
 
The Ohio Street feeder ramp will be reduced from three to two lanes at the Milwaukee Avenue bridge. The Kennedy reversible lanes and the Ontario entrance ramp will not be impacted.
 
The closures are necessary to perform substructure bridge repairs and underpass lighting improvements. Work is expected to be completed in July.
 
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 remain alert for workers and equipment.
 
Click here to find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1. Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com.
3/27/2020 11:43 AM (Updated 3/31/2020 1:19 PM)
Second Year of I-55 bridge Work in Will County to Begin

Extra safety measures in place for final year of two-year project, backups anticipated   

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that a project to replace the bridge decks on I-55 over the BNSF Railroad and Grant Creek, south of Arsenal Road in Will County, resumes, weather permitting, Friday, March 6. Temporary northbound lane closures are scheduled the next two weekends with the permanent work zone anticipated to be in place March 16.

Starting at 9 p.m. Friday, March 6, northbound I-55 will be reduced to a single lane between River Road and Arsenal Road. All lanes reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, March 9. The same northbound closures and hours will be in effect, weather permitting, the weekend of Friday, March 13. 
 
The weekend closures are necessary to make temporary pavement repairs so northbound I-55 can accommodate both directions of traffic when work resumes on replacing the southbound I-55 bridge decks. 
 
That will occur on March 16 at 5 a.m., weather permitting, when I-55 will be reduced to a single lane in both directions between River Road and Arsenal Road. Later this construction season, I-55 will remain one lane in each direction but shift to the southbound lanes while the northbound bridge decks are replaced.
 
The entire project is due to wrap up and all lanes reopen in late fall. 
 
Backups and congestion approaching the work zone should be anticipated at all times. Motorists must slow down, put down their phones and devices, avoid all distractions and give their undivided attention to traffic control signs and changing conditions in and around the work zone.
 
Special precautions again will be implemented to enhance safety. Signs will be posted several miles in advance in both directions. Temporary rumble strips also will be installed to alert approaching motorists. The work zone speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph, with Illinois State Police dedicating special patrols in the area at all times to enforce all traffic laws.
 
Additionally, a dynamic merge system, commonly referred to as a zipper merge, will be used this year to help manage congestion and reduce travel times through the work zone. Digital message signs will advise motorists when to move out of the left lane and prepare to enter the work zone.  During uncongested traffic, motorists will be instructed to slow down and move to the right lane well in advance of the work zone.  During more congested periods, drivers will be encouraged to use both lanes, taking turns merging into the open lane at the point the left lane is closed.  
3/5/2020 9:54 AM (Updated 3/6/2020 11:47 AM)
Mile Long Bridge Beam Delivery Continues in April on Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project

Beam deliveries escorted by State Police will impact travel on I-90, I-290, I-355, I-80, I-57 and I-294

Transport and delivery of bridge beams will continue in April for the Illinois Tollway’s new northbound Mile Long Bridge on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and overnight lane closures will be scheduled as needed on I-294 to accommodate beam placement.

About 50 concrete beams from a Wisconsin manufacturing plant and material for 45 steel beams from an Indiana manufacturing plant are expected to be delivered in April. Transport trucks with the concrete beams will be escorted by Illinois State Police, as needed, and will be traveling at a low rate of speed between hours of 4:30 a.m. and noon on weekdays. The steel beams do not require a State Police escort and the times of deliveries will vary. All delivery schedules are weather dependent.
 
During the week of March 30 and continuing through April, steel beams, measuring up to 10 feet tall and up to 130 feet long, will be transported from the Indiana border traveling northbound on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294/I-80) to I-55 north to US-45 south to exit at the job site at West Lawndale Avenue Island on the east side of the bridge.
 
In addition, concrete beams, each measuring nearly 8 feet tall and up to 161 feet long, will continue to be transported from the Wisconsin border.
 
Duing the week of March 30, these beams will be traveling eastbound on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) to I-290, then south to the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), south to I-55, north to I-57 and north on I-294. These beams will be erected from northbound I-294 overnight. To accommodate the beam installation, overnight lane closures will be scheduled for three nights on northbound I-294 between the 83rd Street Toll Plaza and the Mile Long Bridge, with a single lane closure expected to begin at 6 p.m., followed by a double lane closure at 8 p.m. between Archer Avenue and the Mile Long Bridge. All lanes are scheduled reopen by 5 a.m. the following morning on weekdays and by 9 a.m. the following morning on Saturdays.
 
Beginning the week of April 6 and continuing through April, concrete beams will be transported from the Wisconsin border traveling eastbound on I-90 to I-290, then south to I-355, south to I-294, exiting at 75th Street and continuing to the job site on Santa Fe Drive.
 
Delivery of more than 430 concrete beams and steel beams to the construction site near Countryside, Hodgkins, Willow Springs and Justice is more than halfway complete and will continue over the coming months.
 
This work is part of the Illinois Tollway’s project to reconstruct the Mile Long Bridge that carries traffic over two major railroads, the Des Plaines River, the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and the Illinois & Michigan Canal and local roads, and over several major distribution centers.
 
The Mile Long Bridge is one of the first major construction segments for the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project. Currently, up to 150,000 vehicles travel across the Mile Long Bridge daily. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023.
 
The project includes building two, new side-by-side 4,800-foot-long bridge structures to increase capacity from four lanes to five lanes in each direction as part of the reconstruction and widening of the Central Tri-State Tollway between Balmoral Avenue and 95th Street. In addition, the inside shoulders on the bridge will be built to serve as Flex Lanes to provide for transit, assist emergency vehicles and serve as an alternate lane to reduce traffic congestion when warranted.
 
The design of the new bridge structures took into consideration the sensitive aquatic ecosystem, navigable waterways and existing railroad and roadway operations underneath the structure. Each of the new structures will have fewer piers to reduce the environmental impact on the waterways and industrial areas below. Each bridge will have 27 spans supported by 26 piers, compared to the existing structures with 106 piers. The spans will be made up of a total of nearly 600 steel or concrete beams of various lengths.
 
The Illinois Tollway is coordinating work on the Mile Long Bridge Project with the Village of Hodgkins, Village of Countryside, Village of Willow Springs, Village of Justice, Cook County, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), IDNR Office of Water Resources and the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission, as well as numerous businesses located near the Mile Long Bridge.
 
The work is part of the Illinois Tollway’s 15-year program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.
 
Construction information about the Mile Long Bridge Project is available in the “Projects by Roadway” section in the Explore Projects section on the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com.
 
 
3/30/2020 1:15 PM (Updated 3/30/2020 1:21 PM)
NEWS - Effective March 27, MDOT Will Not Accept Cash Transactions for Eastbound Blue Water Bridge Customers

In accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will not be accepting cash payment for any vehicles conducting essential travel via the eastbound Blue Water Bridge (BWB) to Canada. All commercial traffic will need to pay by prepaid commuter account cards or debit/credit forms of payment. MDOT encourages any commercial travelers who wish to apply for the prepaid commercial account to visit www.federalbridge.ca and complete the application. 

The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited (FBCL) suspended all private passenger vehicle cash transactions effective March 18 for their westbound BWB crossing. In order to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 disease, MDOT's BWB has added further restrictions on forms of payment and will not accept cash payments for any toll crossing, effective 11:59 p.m. March 26. Reducing person-to-person contact via cash exchange will help reduce exposure to contagion.
 
In accordance with orders from the United States and Canadian federal authorities, temporary travel restrictions on all land ports of entry and ferries between the U.S. and Canada have been in effect since March 20.
 
Border protection agencies from both nations remain committed to supporting safe travel for essential customers and commercial truck traffic. The agencies and bridge administrations will follow all federal guidelines intended to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will suspend normal operations at U.S.-Canada land ports of entry and only process travelers engaged in essential travel. The trade of legitimate goods will not be interrupted. 

           According to the CBP, some cases of essential travel include: 
Detailed information on restrictions to entry into the U.S. is available from CBP here. Official guidance on restrictions to entry into Canada is still forthcoming and expected to be similar. For more information regarding the essential travel definitions or travel restrictions, contact the CBP or CBSA.            
 
For current and up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, visit http://www.Michigan.gov/Coronavirus or http://www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus
 
Blue Water Bridge continuing work to "flatten the curve" amid nationwide COVID-19 outbreak
 
Why is the Blue Water Bridge (BWB) eliminating all vehicles from cash payment amid the COVID-19 outbreak?
Reducing the exchange of cash may help to protect BWB toll operators as well as the customers they service. Paying with cash and requiring change being handed back to a customer creates additional contact points that are unnecessary as we work to practice social distancing.
 
What can customers do to reduce their risk while exchanging payment at a bridge crossing?
In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, customers are also encouraged to increase their hand washing and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Additionally, we ask commuters to use hand sanitizer prior to providing their card to the toll collector for processing. It is also recommended to regularly clean your payment card to reduce contagion from spreading during exchange of card payment.
 
What can customers do if they reach the toll booth and do not have a credit/debit card?
The move to eliminate cash is a precautionary measure to reduce person-to-person contact and is not intended to completely eliminate essential travel. However, customers who attempt to pay a toll with cash will be prohibited from using the eastbound BWB crossing.
 
Who can customers direct questions to? Questions can be directed to the BWB at 810-984-3131 or visit the BWB website at www.Michigan.gov/BlueWaterBridge.
 
Where can we find more information about the COVID-19 outbreak and managing the spread?
 
For current and up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, visit http://www.Michigan.gov/Coronavirus or http://www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus
3/26/2020 8:53 AM (Updated 3/28/2020 11:51 AM)
Next Phase of Byrne Improvements begins Friday with Closure of Jackson Boulevard over Kennedy

Progress continues this year with several ramp, mainline Kennedy, Ryan improvements

The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding the public that the next major phase of the Jane Byrne Interchange project will begin with the upcoming closure of the Jackson Boulevard bridge over the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94). The bridge project marks the first of several traffic impacts this construction season that will result in safer, smoother travel through the interchange. 
 
“This coming year will see significant progress with the reconstruction of the Jane Byrne Interchange, and we look forward to the many improvements to come,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “We appreciate the public’s continued patience. We ask that they drop their devices, be on the alert for changes in traffic patterns and give their undivided attention going through this and all other work zones.” 
 
To remove the existing bridge over the expressway, Jackson Boulevard between Halsted Street and Des Plaines Avenue will close starting, weather permitting, at 5 a.m. Friday, March 27.
 
A detour will direct vehicular traffic east on Jackson Boulevard, south on Halsted Street, east on Van Buren Street and north on Jefferson Street to reconnect with Jackson Boulevard. 
 
Pedestrians should use the Van Buren Street bridge as an alternate route. Bicyclists will be detoured south on Halsted Street, east on Harrison Street and north on Clinton Street to reconnect with Jackson Boulevard.
 
The Jackson Boulevard entrance ramp to the outbound Kennedy also will close, with a detour directing traffic north on Halsted Street to enter the expressway via Madison Street. The inbound Kennedy exit ramp to Jackson Boulevard will close as well, with motorists directed to exit at Monroe Street and access Jackson Boulevard via Des Plaines Avenue.
 
The new Jackson Boulevard bridge is expected to open in 2022. The structure will have two lanes and a dedicated bike lane, as well as sidewalks on both sides, enhancing connections and improving safety for all transportation users in the surrounding neighborhoods. 
 
For more information and to view a construction overview video, visit www.janebyrneinterchange.org.
 
Other significant impacts at the Jane Byrne this year include:
 Additional details, schedules and impacts to traffic will be shared in advance, closer to the individual project start dates.  
 
The overall reconstruction project at the Jane Byrne Interchange will improve safety and traffic flow for the more than 400,000 motorists who use it each day, while also enhancing mobility for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users in the surrounding neighborhoods. For more information and to view a live camera feed of the work zone, visit www.circleinterchange.org
 
Recently, IDOT unveiled a new mobile-friendly website that features a detailed project timeline with an interactive map, photo galleries and the ability to submit questions and comments to the project team via a “Contact Us” link. For more information, visit www.janebyrneinterchange.org
 
The improved Jane Byrne Interchange will be complete in 2022.
3/26/2020 10:03 AM (Updated 3/26/2020 11:16 AM)

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Mon Apr 06 2020 16:20:12 CDT