Tri-State Tollway (I-294)

Mile Long Bridge Project

The Mile Long Bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure on the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) corridor as it carries drivers over two major railroads, three water resources and local roads, and over a major distribution center for UPS and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway.

The $500 million Mile Long Bridge Project began in summer 2019 and is scheduled through 2023, including construction of two new, wider bridge structures, as well as stormwater, drainage and related infrastructure improvements. Construction on the new northbound bridge was completed in 2020 and work on the new southbound bridge began in 2021.

The Tollway is committed to maintaining four lanes of traffic in each direction throughout construction. Currently, up to 150,000 vehicles travel on the Mile Long Bridge daily.

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Mile Long Bridge Project

Mile Long Bridge Project Map

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Mile Long Bridge Project Phases

Mile Long Bridge Project Phases Graphic

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Construction Update (5/13/22)

As part of the construction of a new southbound Mile Long Bridge, the Illinois Tollway began using an innovative gantry system in December 2021 to move and install bridge beams behind barrier wall in the work zone, without disrupting traffic.

Transport and delivery of bridge beams began in August 2021 and will continue into 2022. The concrete beams will be transported by truck from a manufacturing site in Wisconsin traveling eastbound on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and southbound on I-294 to the construction site. Transport trucks will be escorted by Illinois State Police and will be traveling at a low rate of speed between hours of 4 a.m. and noon on weekdays. Delivery of new concrete beams is anticipated to continue through mid-2022.

Between LaGrange Road and 75th Street/Willow Springs Road, traffic in both directions is shifted. Traffic is scheduled to remain in this configuration through spring 2022.  

Traffic on the two ramps connecting 75th Street to northbound I-294 is shifted. Traffic will remain in this configuration through summer.

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

Innovation

To construct the new southbound Mile Long Bridge, the Illinois Tollway is using an innovative gantry system in place of traditional construction cranes to move and install bridge beams in the area adjacent to and over the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal.

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See how the gantry system works

Customer Impacts

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

During bridge beam installation, trucks with beams will be parked along I-294 near the 83rd Street Toll Plaza during the day and beams will be installed on new bridges piers during overnight hours with lane closures scheduled as needed to safety provide a work zone.

Delays and temporary, short-term closures are expected on Santa Fe Drive and Midwest Cargo Road underneath the Mile Long Bridge as construction is underway.

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.

Sustainability

The Tollway is committed to building green and minimizing the environmental impact of construction by reducing, recycling and reusing materials.

Work Zone Safety

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

A 45 mph work zone speed limit is in effect in areas with construction on the Central Tri-State Tollway.

Visit the Tollway's Work Zone Safety page.