Illinois Will Open New Mile Long Bridge on I-294 Next Week

Oct. 6, 2022
The $500 million double structure bridge is almost complete

The Illinois Tollway is preparing to open the new southbound Mile Long Bridge next week. The second phase of the $500 million construction project will deliver the new double structure bridge as part of the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project.

“The reopening of the Mile Long Bridge is a testament to the hard work of the people who made the timely completion of this project a reality,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “Replacing outdated bridges throughout the state is a cornerstone of my administration’s infrastructure revitalization goal and I could not be more proud to see this portion of the Move Illinois program come to fruition.”

The Illinois Tollway is expecting to open the bridge to southbound traffic beginning on the evening of October 11. The agency is anticipating four lanes open on the new structure before the evening commute of October 12, depending on the weather.

"Opening the new southbound Mile Long Bridge structure to traffic is a significant milestone in our work to rebuild and widen the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) between 95th Street and Balmoral Avenue, and is due thanks to the hard work of our contractors, engineers and material providers," said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Cassaundra Rouse. "Replacing bridges, including the Mile Long Bridge structures, throughout the 22-mile corridor will allow us to deliver the new and improved roadway on schedule to our customers."

Overnight lane closures will be scheduled beginning at 7 P.M. starting on October 11, and will reopen at 5 A.M. on October 12.

The Mile Long Bridge Project includes replacement of two side-by-side structures, one to carry northbound traffic and the other to carry southbound traffic, to replace the original bridge built in 1958. 

Work on the new southbound Mile Long Bridge began in spring 2021. Construction of the new northbound bridge structure began in summer 2019 and was completed in fall 2020. The entire Mile Long Bridge Project, including the removal of the old southbound bridge structure, is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2023. 

The Mile Long Bridge carries traffic over two major railroads, the Des Plaines River, the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and the Illinois & Michigan Canal and local roads, and over several major distribution centers. Currently, up to 150,000 vehicles travel across the Mile Long Bridge daily.

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 inside shoulders in both directions will be built to serve as Flex Lanes for transit, emergency vehicles, and as an alternate lane when warranted.

The project is part of the $4 billion Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project, scheduled for 2018 through 2025, is rebuilding and improving the Tollway from Balmoral Avenue to 95th Street to provide congestion relief, improve mobility, reconstruct old infrastructure to meet current and future transportation demand and to address regional needs.  This work is funded by the Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion Move Illinois capital program.


Source: The Illinois Tollway

Sponsored Recommendations

The Science Behind Sustainable Concrete Sealing Solutions

Extend the lifespan and durability of any concrete. PoreShield is a USDA BioPreferred product and is approved for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It works great above...

Proven Concrete Protection That’s Safe & Sustainable

Real-life DOT field tests and university researchers have found that PoreShieldTM lasts for 10+ years and extends the life of concrete.

Revolutionizing Concrete Protection - A Sustainable Solution for Lasting Durability

The concrete at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is subject to several potential sources of damage including livestock biowaste, food/beverage waste, and freeze/thaw...

The Future of Concrete Preservation

PoreShield is a cost-effective, nontoxic alternative to traditional concrete sealers. It works differently, absorbing deep into the concrete pores to block damage from salt ions...