Seven miles closing completely this year to make repairs quicker, safer, cheaper
COLLINSVILLE – The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the first phase of repairs to a crumbling section of Interstate 255, one of the initial projects under Gov. JB Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, will begin Feb. 1, resulting in a full closure between Interstate 55/70 and Interstate 64 for approximately five months.
“Removing traffic from I-255 allows us to complete these much-needed repairs more quickly, cheaply and safely. We ask for the public’s cooperation in planning ahead,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Please take some time to coordinate your trips and consider taking our suggested alternate routes. Our No. 1 priority is safety while finishing the project as quickly as possible and minimizing the impacts to the motoring public and surrounding communities.”
By closing I-255 completely, the project will be completed in one construction season instead of the four years that would be necessary if construction was staged. Additionally, the project will cost $67 million, or about $14 million less than completing the work in multiple phases. Closing the interstate also reduces the safety risk to workers and motorists by eliminating live traffic moving through an active construction site.
To inform the public about the project, detours and other potential alternative routes, IDOT has launched a project webpage that can be viewed by clicking here or visiting idot.illinois.gov. The page features project details as well as maps and fact sheets.
While Interstates 55/70 and 64 will be the marked detour, depending on direction of travel, the following alternate routes should be considered: Illinois 3, Illinois 15, Illinois 157, Illinois 158, Illinois 159 and Illinois 161.
Motorists are advised to build extra time into their schedules if they are planning on traveling through this area. Public transportation and traveling during off-peak hours are recommended, if possible.
The overall project consists of rehabilitating and resurfacing approximately 7 miles of I-255 from Collinsville Road to Illinois 15 in two sections separated by I-64, with significant bridge repairs, safety improvements and drainage upgrades.
Once the section north of I-64 is finished this summer, construction will shift to the section between I-64 and Illinois 15, again requiring a full closure of the work zone in both directions for approximately five months.
The entire project wraps up no later than Nov. 25.
Due to lack of investment, I-255 is notorious for being one of the worst roads in the state. Most of the pavement dates back to when the interstate was built in the 1980s. Emergency repairs that inconvenience motorists are frequent because of multiple pavement failures and large potholes.
The Rebuild Illinois capital program is investing $33.2 billion into the state’s aging transportation system. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but the first one that touches all modes of Illinois transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
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