Mile Long Bridge Project
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.
Construction Update (11/28/22)
The new southbound Mile Long Bridge is now open to traffic.
Northbound traffic is shifted to the inside and southbound traffic to the outside for wrap up work related to the bridge project. Traffic is scheduled to remain in this configuration through the end of the year.
Please check the Daily Construction Alert for up-to-date closure information.
Phase 1: Construction of the new northbound bridge structure began in summer 2019 and opened to traffic in November 2020.
Phase 2: Work to remove the old northbound structure and construction of the new southbound bridge structure began in spring 2021 and opened to traffic in October 2022.
Phase 3: Removal of the old southbound bridge structure is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023.
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.
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.
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.