Peoria’s Bob Michel Bridge improvement project gets $24.6 million


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Upcoming improvents to the Bob Michel Bridge will be funded with $24.6 million from the Rebuild Illinois capital program. The project will close the bridge for one construction season for redecking and other upgrades, condensing the timeline to deliver the benefits to the public quickly and at a reduced cost.

“Rebuild Illinois is making historic investments in our roads, bridges, and more as part of our larger commitment to improving the infrastructure of every community in this state,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “This $24.6 million project to enhance the Bob Michel Bridge will provide smoother and safer transportation, create jobs, and open doors for economic development in the Peoria area.”

Starting March 13, weather permitting, the bridge over the Illinois River between Peoria and East Peoria will be closed for eight months and construction is expected to wrap up in November.

The project includes installing a new concrete overlay and bridge joints to preserve and extend the life of the deck. The existing five-foot wide sidewalk will be replaced by a multiuse path that’s 14 feet across and protected from vehicle traffic by a concrete barrier to better accommodate both bikes and pedestrians, while providing connections to the region’s trail network, including the Rock Island Greenway Trail and the River Trail of Illinois.

By closing the bridge and not performing the work in multiple phases, the project will be completed quicker and at a reduced cost. The safety risk to workers and motorists is also reduced by eliminating live traffic moving through an active construction site.

Rebuild Illinois is funding major upgrades possible to seven of the region’s bridges including the $10 million rehabilitation of the Illinois 17 bridge to the north in Lacon which also starts in March. The ongoing $167 million replacement of the eastbound U.S. 150/McClugage Bridge is anticipated to finish in late 2024 and the $42.2 million redecking of the Murray Baker Bridge, was completed in 2020.

Upcoming projects include:

  • $48 million to replace Peoria’s Cedar Street extension /Illinois 8/Illinois 116 bridge over Main Street and the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad in 2024
  • $108 million to replace the Illinois 18 bridge in Henry over the Illinois River in 2026
  • $25 million to replace the Illinois 116 bridge over Kickapoo Creek and the Union Pacific and BNSF railroads in Peoria


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