DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The Illinois Tollway is scheduled to receive final deliveries of beams in early June, completing all beam deliveries for the new southbound Mile Long Bridge on the Central Tri-State Tollway.
Delivery of the final 22 concrete bridge beams is anticipated to be complete by mid-June, with beams transported from Wisconsin traveling eastbound on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate-90) to southbound Interstate-294 to the construction site.
Transport trucks with the concrete beams will be escorted by Illinois State Police and will be traveling at a low rate of speed, typically between hours of 4 a.m. and noon on weekdays; however, some concrete beam transport will be scheduled during overnight hours to accommodate BNSF Railway schedules.
The trucks with the beams will be parked along the southbound Mile Long Bridge and concrete beams will be installed over the Burlington National Santa Fe Railway, the Midwest Cargo Road, Santa Fe Drive and the 75th Street ramps.
All deliveries are weather dependent and schedules will be available on Daily Construction Alerts posted on the Tollway’s website.
Upon delivery of these final beams, a total of 250 concrete beams weighing approximately 115 tons and measuring up to 7.5 feet tall and up to 187 feet long will have been delivered to the site for the new southbound Mile Long Bridge Project.
In addition, 165 steel beam segments were delivered from a fabrication site in Kentucky during the project and used to form 52 steel beams installed over the County Forest Preserve property and the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. Each of the steel beam segments measure between 86 and 120 inches tall and between 39 and 234 feet long.
As part of the $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway Project, the Illinois Tollway is reconstructing the Mile Long Bridge that carries up to 150,000 vehicles daily over two major railroads, the Des Plaines River, the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and the Illinois & Michigan Canal and local roads, and over several major distribution centers. Construction of the new northbound structure was completed in 2020 and the entire Mile Long Bridge Project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023.
The Mile Long Bridge Project includes building two, new side-by-side 4,800-foot-long bridge structures designed to last 100 years and increasing capacity to five lanes in each direction. The original bridge structures were built in 1958.
Both new bridges feature 27 spans supported by 26 piers, compared to the previous structures with 53 piers, reducing the impact on waterways, roadway and rail operations below.
In addition, the bridges’ inside shoulders in both directions will be built to serve as Flex Lanes for transit, for emergency vehicles and as an alternate lane when warranted.
The Illinois Tollway is coordinating work on the Mile Long Bridge Project with the Village of Hodgkins, Village of Countryside, Village of Willow Springs, Village of Justice, Cook County, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), IDNR Office of Water Resources and the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission, as well as numerous businesses located near the Mile Long Bridge.
Construction information about the Mile Long Bridge Project and the Central Tri-State Tollway Project is available in the “Projects Section on the Tollway’s website at illinoistollway.com.
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