BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: Illinois Tollway begins work on highlight of I-90 project

New Fox River Bridge will be eight lanes will full-width shoulders in each direction

Bridges News Illinois Tollway June 24, 2014
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The Illinois Tollway will begin work on the $95 million Fox River Bridge project on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Elgin this week. The project begins with closure of the bicycle and pedestrian bridge under the Fox River Bridge and mobilization of equipment this week to begin preparing for bridge removal and reconstruction. 


The Fox River Bridge was constructed as part of the original Tollway system in the 1950s. The Illinois Tollway is rebuilding and widening it as part of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016, including construction of two new, wider bridge structures, drainage improvements and replacement of the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge.


“The Fox River Bridge is a critical piece of our $2.5 billion I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “Our goal is to make construction as convenient as possible for residents and businesses, while delivering a new, wider bridge that is more sensitive to the environment.”


This week, the contractor will begin moving equipment to the construction site under the Fox River Bridge west of Duncan Avenue, including cranes, excavators and earthmoving equipment needed to begin work on the Fox River Bridge structures. Delays are expected on Duncan Avenue while construction equipment and materials are moved onto the construction site.


Closure and removal of the 660-ft-long bicycle and pedestrian bridge located underneath the Fox River Bridge is necessary for the reconstruction of the I-90 Fox River Bridge. The four spans that make up the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge will be removed in smaller sections and delivered to the Forest Preserve District of Kane County for its future use. 


Once the bicycle and pedestrian bridge has been removed, work will begin in the Fox River to build two construction platforms under the bridge. The temporary platforms made of crushed rock will extend about 185 ft from each bank and will be 200 ft wide, with space between to allow the Fox River to flow through. The platforms will be used to move equipment into the river and under the bridge for removal of the bridge above, as well as to construct the new bridge support piers in the water. Construction of the platforms is expected to take a month to complete.


The Fox River Bridge Project will include construction of two new bridge structures that will increase capacity from six lanes to eight lanes with full shoulders in both directions to accommodate the new, wider I-90 roadway. Currently, up to 101,300 vehicles travel on the I-90 Fox River Bridge daily. A new, wider bicycle and pedestrian bridge underneath the Fox River Bridge also will be constructed as part of the project.


The new bridge structures will be 1,315 ft long and will stand 40 ft above the surface of the Fox River and adjacent roadways. The structures will be built with eight spans supported by seven piers to reduce the environmental impact on the waterway and forested fen below. The existing structures have 14 piers.


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