The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that repair work is underway on the truss bridges carrying I-55 over the Des Plaines River between Arsenal Road and Bluff Road near Channahon.
Work planned for these structures, which were constructed in 1956, include pier and abutment repairs, structural steel repairs, joint replacement, bridge deck patching and the deck surface will be overlaid. The superstructure of both structures will be cleaned and painted. The bi-annual inspection of both structures will also be performed during these closures.
The work will require I-55 to be reduced to one lane in each direction between Arsenal Road and Bluff Road. One direction of traffic will cross-over the median so that one lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained over the Des Plaines River on one of the truss structures while work is performed on the other structure. The anticipated completion date for this project is November 15, 2013.
Each northbound and southbound lane will be reduced to 13-feet 10-inches wide. A series of width restriction warning signs will be erected in advance of the lane closure and in advance of the last interchange before the lane closures. Warning signs will be at entrance ramps from IL 129, Lorenzo Road, River Road, Arsenal Road, Bluff Road, US 6 and I-80.
Drivers can expect delays during times when the lane closures are in effect and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to the signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, and be on the alert for workers and equipment.
I-55 traffic was backed up several miles this morning as well as traffic on Illinois Route 6.
Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com.
We spoke at length with Lane Kidd, managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (a.k.a. the Trucking Alliance) about which issues the carrier-driven and safety-focused lobbying group is most engaged with this year.