JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Reports on CBS 2 have highlighted the Interstate 80 bridge over the Des Plaines River in Joliet as one of Illinois’ most dangerous.
On Monday, work was set to begin to repair the affected stretch of the expressway.
CBS 2’s first story about the possible structural dangers of the 54-year-old bridge spans aired in February. Inspectors had discovered that the prior spring, the bridge had been in such bad shape that warranted closing – but nothing had been done to repair the issues as the months had gone on.
Shortly after CBS 2’s February report, the local Union of Operating Engineers mounted billboards warning drivers of the possible structural dangers of the bridge.
Those billboards in turn sounded the alarm for lawmakers, who voted to secure $848 million in funding for I-80 improvements.
“That is one of many projects across the state that are in desperate need of rebuilding, so that people can be kept safe,” Gov. J. B. Pritzker said earlier this month.
On Monday night, Illinois Department of Transportation crews were set to begin steel repairs and bearing replacements. Drivers were advised to plan ahead for possible delays.
Occasional lane closures are scheduled from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
This phase of the project is expected to be complete by the fall of 2020.