Introduction and Purpose
The Illinois Department of Transportation (Department) is studying a 16-mile section of I-80 from Ridge Road to US Route 30 that spans three counties (Kendall,Grundy, and Will) and six municipalities, including the City of Joliet. The purpose of the I-80 Project is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system for both local and regional travel by improving access, reducing existing and future congestion, improving safety, and bringing I-80 up to current design standards. Improvements proposed include reconstructing the existing pavement, adding auxiliary lanes, widening shoulders, improving interchanges, and repairing, widening, and replacing bridges along the corridor.
As part of the project, the Department proposes to replace the existing twin truss bridges on I-80 over the Des Plaines River located in the City of Joliet. These new, wider bridges would be located approximately 300 feet north of the existing bridges.
Area of Impact
The Department recognizes there will be impacts to your community and wants to understand better the extent of those impacts. When providing your feedback to the project team through calls, meetings, emails, website and/or survey, please consider the topics below. These potential impacts may include (but are not limited to):
How will construction impact the community, and will there be street closures?
Local streets will be modified or closed and reconnected to allow local traffic to move through the neighborhood. Exhibits on the project website here showthe new local street connections proposed. There will also be ramp closures and the Center Street interchange will be closed for an extended period for construction and implementation of the project.The Department will work closely with the City of Joliet to maintain local access and in developing maintenance of traffic plans in advance of construction activities. Street closures, detours and modified traffic patterns will be announced to the public ahead of time.
East of the Des Plaines River
- Propose new connector roads be constructed north of I-80 between Des Plaines Street and Water Street connecting to the existing alley, and between River Street and Kiep Avenue
- Des Plaines Street (north of I-80) is planned to end at the new connector road
- Duncan Street is proposed to close due to the location of the new bridge
- River Street is proposed to end at the new connector
- Water Street is to remain open to thru traffic
- Kiep Avenue is proposed to end at the new connector
West of Des Plaines River
- Propose a new connector road be built between Illinois Street and Market Street
- Market Street is proposed to end at the new connector road and Shelby Street
- Shelby Street will be removed between Illinois Street and Market Street
What Will the Community Look Like When Construction is Complete?
Will there be changes in noise levels from the new bridge?
As part of the Phase I Study of I-80, the Department performed a noise study in accordance with State and federal regulations and guidance. The study found that increases in noise levels would occur. Several locations were identified where noise walls would help reduce the noise. More information on potential noise wall locations may be found on the project website (https://i-80will.com/images/Presentations/Noisewalls.pdf) and renderings showing what noise walls would look like within communities are shown in this newsletter. Tenants and property owners who would benefit from the potential noise walls will have the opportunity to vote on whether they would like them to be installed. The voting would occur after final design for the project is approved. Community input as part of this outreach effort on concerns about noise impacts in the community will help the Department further understand considerations needed to mitigate temporary construction and permanent noise impacts.
How will the existing bridge structure be removed and not damage my property?
The Department will make every effort to complete construction in a manner that limits property damage. Should you feel your property sustained damage due to construction, you can file a claim with the State of Illinois for damages. To file a claim, contact your IDOT District 1 office. For information on how to obtain contact information, please go to the following website: http://www.idot.illinois.gov/travel-information/report-a-problem/claims/index
Any claim will need to show proof of previous (before construction) and current (during or after construction) conditions of your property.
What about vibration impacts during construction?
In accordance with the Department’s Highway Traffic Noise Assessment Manual, vibration during construction activities will be monitored closely, including impacts from pile driving, blasting and pavement breaking. If necessary, the Department will implement measures to reduce construction vibration, such as changing the location of construction activities and hours of vibration operations or using alternative construction methods.
What is Environmental Justice?
Environmental Justice (EJ) at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) means identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse effects of the agency’s programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations to achieve an equitable distribution of benefits and burdens.
What is mitigation?
Mitigation is avoiding or minimizing impacts by reducing the degree or magnitude of the implemented action; mitigating or eliminating the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the impacted environment or community resource; reducing or eliminating the impact over time by long-term preservation and maintenance operations; and compensating for the impact incurred.
When will construction start on this project?
This improvement is included in the FY 2021 -2026 Proposed Highway Improvement Program. This is a 16-mile project and construction will not occur over the entire 16 miles at the same time. Construction will occur in stages, a few miles at a time, and will take at least five years to complete. For the portion of I-80 between Center Street and Chicago Street, current efforts are targeted to enable a contract letting in the middle years of the multi-year program; this is contingent upon plan readiness, land acquisition and availability of funding.
For more FAQ’s please click HERE.
Please note that the phases referenced above refer to the Department’s project phases and should notbe confused with the Restore Illinois Phases associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.