Inside the Tollway
The Illinois Tollway began wrapping up the 2020 construction season in time to deliver holiday benefits to its customers on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and the Edens Spur Tollway (I-94).
Completion of the new northbound Mile Long Bridge on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) provided the opportunity for drivers to travel over the Des Plaines River, railroads and canals for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
“The northbound bridge contract is the largest in the Illinois Tollway’s history, and we are pleased to deliver this first piece to our customers within budget and on schedule,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José
Opening the bridge to traffic on November 24, 2020, marked the halfway point in the $500 million projectdelivering two new, wider bridge structures to serve up to 150,000 vehicles daily and a major milestone reconstruction and widening of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).
“The Mile Long Bridge is an extraordinary project, and completion of the new northbound structure stands out due to the hard work and perseverance of the many engineering and construction firms continuing to move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alvarez. The construction 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 $184.6 million contract to build the new northbound bridge structure began in summer 2019. Work will continue over the winter under a second $182.6 million contract to remove the old northbound structure and construct the new outbound Mile Long Bridge beginning in spring 2021. The entire Mile Long Bridge Project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023. In addition, reopening all lanes of traffic on the Edens Spur (I-94) was completed by November 20, 2020, bringing an end to work on the $109.1 million improvement project begun in 2018. Connecting the North Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294) and the Edens Expressway, up to 57,000 vehicles use the Edens Spur daily.
The project included replacing all the existing mainline asphalt pavement, as well as rebuilding the Pfingsten Road Bridge and repairing the Waukegan Road Bridge over the Edens Spur, constructing the barrier separated median with stormwater improvements and upgrading ITS and roadway lighting. The project also delivered local improvements coordinated with the Villages of Northbrook and Deerfield.
Overall, the Tollway Board of Directors committed more than $1.5 billion in 2020 approving contacts necessary to complete projects on schedule and continue work on ongoing projects including construction of the new I-490 Tollway and the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project.