NEW LENOX, Ill. — Gov. J.B. Pritzker shared the 6-year timeline for what he called the largest highway restoration project in Illinois on Monday, Oct. 18 at the Illinois Department of Transportation-New Lenox.
The $1.2 billion I-80 corridor project will modernize 16 miles of interstate and over 30 bridges to make travel safer and less congested for Illinoisans while also producing thousands of union jobs in the process, Pritzker said Monday.
Watch the news conference here:
"Our roads, our bridges, they bring together our communities. They take us to work, to school, to our families, to our loved ones.," Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said during the conference. "The reconstruction of I-80 is a cornerstone of our commitment to making those links strong, safe and long-lasting."
One of three U.S. coast-to-coast interstates, I-80 has seen nearly 80,000 vehicles every day through Joliet and Will counties, according to a Monday news release from Pritzker's office. Due to the outdated infrastructure, traffic congestion along this route was a common occurrence.
Starting 2022, the section from Ridge Road to the DuPage River will be under construction as land acquisition progresses and final engineering is completed on the Des Plaines River bridges, the news release said. Improvements will begin from Ridge Road to U.S. 30 in 2023, and construction of the Des Plaines River bridges as well as the Center Street and U.S. 52/Illinois 53 (Chicago Street) interchanges will take place in 2026 and 2027.
"While this project is ambitious in scale, the construction has also been designed to minimize its impact on the residents that live along the highway," Pritzker said.
When the project is completed in 2027, travelers can expect to see bicycle and pedestrian paths, 8 miles of noise-reduction walls, extended auxiliary lanes, interchanges, a flyover ramp linking southbound I-55 to westbound I-80 and more.
The I-80 construction project was funded through the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan. Made law in June 2019, the plan invested in roads, bridges, railroads, universities early childhood centers and state facilities.
About $11.7 billion of the plan was dedicated to updating transportation, according to the Illinois Economic Policy Institute's Rebuild Illinois Project List.
For updates on area construction, visit GettingAroundIllinois.com.