Illinois 71 work underway in Kendall County; Lacon Bridge and Interstate 90/94 up next

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Construction began is underway on Illinois 71 in Kendall County, a $32.9 million project to widen the road from two to four lanes between Orchard Road and Illinois 126.

Tree removal has started along the 3.8-mile work zone, and utility relocation will begin once tree removal is completed and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Construction of the new northbound and southbound lanes will be staged. Improvements will include several structure replacements, a new shared-use path, and traffic signal and lighting upgrades.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026 and will bring Illinois 71 to four lanes from U.S. 34 in Oswego to Illinois 47 in Yorkville.

Work will also start this month on Lacon Bridge, which carries almost 7,000 daily vehicles on Illinois 17 over the Illinois River in Marshall County, connects Sparland and Lacon. Built in 1939, the bridge is one of the oldest crossings over the Illinois River and due for major scheduled maintenance and rehabilitation.

The 1,573-foot long, 29-foot-wide structure is a steel continuous through-truss bridge, which last received an upgrade in 1990, including superstructure replacement beams at the approach spans, floor beams at the main span and a new bridge deck.

The $10 million construction project includes steel repair, bearing rehabilitation, joint replacement, bridge deck overlay, roadway and navigational lighting updates, drainage improvements and painting. Work is expected to last about 10 months.IDOT also announced that a rehabilitation of the Kennedy Expressway (Interstate 90/94), from the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94) junction to Ohio Street, is scheduled to begin Mar. 20.

The $150 million project consists of rehabilitating 36 bridge structures and the
Reversible Lane Access Control (REVLAC) system, replacing overhead sign-structures,
installing new signage and modernized LED lights, pavement patching and structural painting.

Additionally, Hubbard’s Cave, from Grand Avenue to Wayman Street, will be painted and new LED lighting installed.

Work will take place over three consecutive construction seasons and wrap up in 2025:

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 2,500 miles of roads and nearly 10 million square feet of bridges as part of Rebuild Illinois, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation.

Accomplishments through three years of Rebuild Illinois included $8.6 billion of improvements statewide on 4,422 miles of highway, 412 bridges and 621 safety improvements.

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