JOLIET, Ill. – Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) were joined by local officials on Jan. 28 to announce the next phase of construction on the new Houbolt Road bridge and interchange, a critical piece of the governor’s $1.2 billion commitment to improve and modernize Interstate 80 through the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program.
The entire project, funded by an estimated $200 million in public and private funding, is expected to create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs while improving safety and intermodal activity throughout the region.
“The next phase of I-80’s modernization begins today at Houbolt Road, giving new life to one the interstate’s most critical interchanges and a key access point for Joliet,” Pritzker said. “Our state investment of $32 million right here in Joliet will help widen Houbolt Road and reconfigure its interchange into a high-capacity, diverging-diamond design. These improvements are making it safer and more efficient for truck drivers, but also for the tens of thousands of commuters and families who drive this interstate as they navigate their daily lives.”
Under a public-private partnership between IDOT, the City of Joliet and CenterPoint Properties, the city is overseeing the $33.5 million project to widen Houbolt Road and reconfigure its interchange with I-80 to a high-capacity, diverging-diamond design. The state is providing $32 million in capital funding for the project.
The state and city investments have also leveraged a CenterPoint investment of up to $170 million to build a new tolled bridge on Houbolt Road over the Des Plaines River. Already under construction, the new bridge will connect I-80 and CenterPoint’s intermodal facilities.
Advance work on Houbolt Road is anticipated to begin with the relocation of utilities this winter, weather permitting, with construction starting soon afterward. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.
“Under Gov. Pritzker, IDOT is leveraging public resources to advance projects across all modes throughout the state in new and exciting ways,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “The Houbolt Road improvements are going to bring much-needed relief to I-80 while delivering a crucial piece of the governor’s larger vision to remake one of the country’s major interstate corridors.”
Improving access to CenterPoint’s intermodal facilities via Houbolt Road is expected to reduce congestion on I-80 and significantly reduce traffic near the entrances to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie along with Illinois 53.
Another element of the project will extend the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Rock Run Greenway Trail from north of I-80 to the Lower Rock Run Preserve and the I&M Canal Trail.
“I’m happy to see the progress being made on the construction of the Houbolt Road Bridge. We know, moving forward, the critical role this will play as development continues around the two intermodal ports in our region,” Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said. “The public-private partnership we have forged is a model for major capital improvements moving forward.”
Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing $33.2 billion into the state’s aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history but also the first one that touches all modes of Illinois transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.