Rebuilding I-55: New bridge over Lemont Road latest improvements along vital travel, freight corridor

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The recently completed $17-million bridge on Interstate 55 over Lemont Road will improve safety and traffic flow, one of multiple projects along a key section of a critical travel and freight corridor.

The rebuilt bridge at Lemont Road also includes reconstructed ramps with I-55 that will improve traffic operations and efficiencies as well as new lighting and storm sewers.

IHC Construction Companies completed the work.

“Stretching from Chicago to St. Louis, the I-55 corridor is one of the pillars of our interstate system and connects towns and communities up and down the state,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These improvements fueled by Rebuild Illinois will not only enhance quality of life while improving safety and mobility in one part of the state, but they will also serve to strengthen our position as the country’s transportation hub.”

Current I-55 projects funded through Rebuild Illinois include:

I-55 over Illinois 53 and Joliet Road 

  • The $18 million project consists of replacing the existing I-55 bridges over Illinois 53 and Joliet Road with new wider structures, new deck overlays and approaches, resurfacing and new lighting. Work over Illinois 53 is expected to be completed later this spring, with Joliet Road later this fall.

I-55 at Illinois 59 and at U.S. 52 (Jefferson Street)

  • The $80 million project consists of converting the existing interchange at I-55 and Illinois 59 into a full-access, diverging-diamond design to improve safety and traffic flow, with the East Frontage Road relocated and reconstructed. Construction is anticipated to be completed in late fall. A previous effort completed $9 million in advance work.

The following projects have been completed:

  • I-55 at Weber Road, a $75.7 million projectthat ended in 2022, converted the interchange into a diverging diamond design, with a third lane added in each direction to Weber Road.
  • I-55 from I-80 to Weber Road, a $48 million patching and resurfacing of both directions of the interstate wrapped up last year.
  • S. 52 over I-55, a $5 million project repaired the bridge joints, with a new deck overlay installed. The I-55 ramps to U.S. 52 were widened to accommodate an additional lane on each ramp. The bridge is scheduled to be painted later this spring.

IDOT’s six-year multiyear program also includes $200.9 million for a new interchange at Airport Road/Lockport Road and at Illinois 126 in Romeoville and $143.7 million for Lorenzo Road and Illinois 129 near Braidwood.

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