Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294)

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Bridge Project

The Illinois Tollway is reconstructing the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Bridge, which carries the triple-track railroad over the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) between Hinsdale and Western Springs, to accommodate the widening of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294).  

In 2020, the Tollway will continue work to construct a bypass bridge that will allow for uninterrupted freight and commuter rail operations during bridge reconstruction.  Once the bypass bridge is complete, the main bridge will be rebuilt and lengthened. 

Work on the BNSF Railway Bridge is scheduled to continue through 2022.

Read More

BNSF Railway Bridge Location
BNSF Railway Bridge Reconstruction Location
> View full-size map
BNSF Railway Bridge Reconstruction Phases
BNSF Railway Bridge Project Phases
> View full-size graphic

Construction Update (4/3/20)

On northbound I-294, the left lane is closed and traffic reduced from four to three lanes through April to accommodate construction work in the center median area. Additional lane closures will be scheduled in both directions as needed.

Between 55th Street and Ogden Avenue, traffic in both directions is shifted to the left with reduced lane widths.

Whenever possible, the Tollway uses traffic shifts and shoulders to keep as many lanes open during peak hours as were available before construction.

Constructing the bypass bridge carrying three tracks over I-294 will allow the BNSF and Metra to maintain continual freight and commuter rail operations.

Please check the Daily Construction Alert for up-to-date closure information.

Construction Live Image

Local Construction Information (3/25/20)

Pile driving is scheduled through early summer to provide ground stabilization and earth retention. This construction activity will take place on the southeast side of the bridge and along Burlington Avenue in the Village of Western Springs, as well as at the east and west bridge abutments and center median on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). These operations will be intermittent with the majority of work scheduled during daytime hours, however night and weekend work may be scheduled based on BNSF track outage availability.

The contractor also anticipates work on I-294 that will involve concrete breaking to remove the center median and work is anticipated to take place during the weeknights in early spring.

Other work includes:

Construction work adjacent to parks and residential areas had begun. A temporary, 8-foot chain-link construction fencing with dark mesh has been erected to create a safe work zone while limiting sight and nuisances around the construction zone on the mainline of I-294 and along the BNSF Railway.

In Western Springs, a portion of commuter permit parking on Burlington Avenue between Central Avenue and Waldo Erickson Drive will be closed during construction. Signage is posted and overflow permit commuter parking and daily metered parking spots are available at the Western Springs Service Club (pool) lot at 1300 Hillgrove Avenue.

Portions of Veeck and Peirce Parks in Hinsdale and Spring Rock Park in Western Springs will be closed throughout the bridge project to provide for a safe work zone. Park activities will continue throughout construction.

A Regional Solution

The Central Tri-State Tollway is being reconstructed to increase capacity, reduce congestion and improve travel reliability. This work is part of the Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. More than 220,000 vehicles use this portion of the Tri-State Tollway daily.

A detailed planning and refinement process is underway to complete a design concept for rebuilding the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294). This process includes outreach efforts with customers, communities, businesses and partners to identify regional improvements and continue to refine the design details.

Visit the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) outreach page.

Purpose

The $96 million BNSF Railroad Bridge Project is part of the $4 billion Central Tri-State Project. Reconstruction of the BNSF Railway Bridge will allow for increased traffic capacity on I-294 and improve the overall driving experience through one of the busiest section of the Tollway.

As the bridge is expected to last for decades to come, the bridge is being designed to accommodate foreseeable future needs to the greatest extent possible.

Work Zone Safety

The Illinois Tollway is committed to ensuring that the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and the railroad remain safe for both drivers and workers during construction, which is part of the agency’s overall commitment to roadway safety.

Work zone speed limits are in effect in all construction zones 24/7 and drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and use caution, especially when workers are present. On I-294, a 45 mph work zone speed limit is in effect throughout the construction season.

Visit the Tollway's Work Zone Safety page.