I-57/74 reconstruction taking shape with new bridge piers, pavement work

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Officials are celebrating the latest milestones on the $251.8 million replacement of the Interstate 57/74 interchange as it moves into the next phase of construction.

The I-57/74 project is replacing a traditional cloverleaf interchange built in 1965 that no longer meets current traffic volumes and demands. The new interchange will feature a design that includes two flyover ramps to improve traffic flow and efficiency: Eastbound I-74 to northbound I-57 and westbound I-74 to southbound I-57. To add capacity, a third, auxiliary lane will be added to both directions of I-74 between Prospect Avenue and Duncan Road.

“Champaign has seen great benefits with the Interstate 57/74 Interchange reconstruction project. Today, it’s a pleasure to announce the project’s next stage — a new beam placement,” said State Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana). “This project, in its entirety, will restore green spaces, add LED lighting for improved visibility and efficiency, and improve travel times. It is a fruitful infrastructure project that prioritizes the needs of Illinois residents.”

Upon substantial completion in late 2025 with some remaining work anticipated in 2026, the new interchange will eliminate the merging, weaving and slow speeds of the existing one, resulting in improved traffic performance, reduced travel times and fewer conflicts between vehicles.

To provide underrepresented communities, women, and disadvantaged individuals a path toward a career in the construction trades, the project is putting to work members of the highway construction careers training program, an IDOT initiative with Parkland Community College to provide critical on-the-job experience.

The project is one of several on I-57 funded by Rebuild Illinois, remaking the state’s longest interstate at 359 miles and a crucial link between cities and major institutions. Rebuild Illinois advanced $84 million in resurfacings and other improvements in Chicago and the south suburbs, $219.4 million in bridge replacements, interchange upgrades and multiple other improvements in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, and $267 million in capacity and safety upgrades in southern Illinois.

Accomplishments through Year Four of Rebuild Illinois include approximately $12.1 billion of improvements statewide on 5,339 miles of highway, 533 bridges and 762 additional safety improvements.

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