Rails and rest stops highlight another historic construction season: IDOT

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

At the start of what is expected to be one of its busiest construction seasons ever, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced major projects in the Springfield area are planned or underway, funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

Six major projects combined represent a total investment of nearly $103 million, improving safety and mobility while sustaining and creating good-paying jobs throughout the region.

“Rebuild Illinois is revitalizing communities and neighborhoods by investing in projects and people in the Springfield area and throughout the state,” said Gov. Pritzker. “Through the largest capital program in state history, IDOT will be delivering improvements to build a more resilient, accessible and equitable system of transportation for generations to come, while creating jobs and enhancing local quality of life.”

In the Springfield area, the following projects are expected to be completed within the next two years:

  • 10th Street railroad tracks at Madison and Jefferson streets underpasses and double tracking began last year, with a scheduled completion date this summer.
  • East Lake Shore Drive over the Illinois Central Railroad and Lake Springfield slough about a half mile east of I-55 includes new bridge deck overlays. The project began this spring and is anticipated to be completed in the fall.
  • The Rail Splitter rest areas on both directions of I-55 will be replaced. The demolition of the current buildings begins this summer. The new buildings are expected to be completed in 2026.
  • I-55 Business/6th Street from north of Stanford Avenue to Myrtle Street includes resurfacing and patching. The project begins in June and is expected to be completed in November.
  • I-55 over the Sangamon River 2.2 miles south of the Sherman interchange includes bridge deck overlay and patching with shoulder reconstruction both southbound and northbound bridges. The project is a precursor for the widening of the bridges, part of proposed widening of I-55 through Springfield. Widening of the bridges is scheduled to begin in 2025.
  • 11th Street Over I-55/72 includes bridge deck repairs. The project is anticipated to begin in June and completed in September.

“Rebuild Illinois has had a tremendous impact on Springfield, bringing good-paying jobs and boosting our local economy,” said state Sen. Doris Turner (D-Springfield). “Key investments in downstate transportation continue to help our communities grow and increase accessibility for residents.”

Since 2019, Rebuild Illinois has allocated $33.2 billion  into the state’s aging transportation system. The largest capital program in state history is also the first that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

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