Illinois and Missouri Team Up to Build New Bridge

June 20, 2023
This project aims to improve one of the nation's critical freight corridors

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, along with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) hosted a media event to celebrate the beginning of construction on the new I-270 Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River. This project aims to improve one of the nation's critical freight corridors.

According to IDOT, roughly 70% of the region's industry tenants are only 10 minutes away from the interstate, making I-270 a critical connector in the region.

“This isn’t just an investment for the Metro East region — it’s an investment for our entire nation,” explained Gov. Pritzker in a statement. “This major freight corridor connects our ports and railways — essential to maintaining a steady supply chain for Illinoisans, Missourians, and all Americans alike.”

The structure, originally built in 1966, carries 51,000 vehicles a day with approximately 20% being freight-carrying trucks.

The joint venture has a price tag of $496.2 million with a goal of replacing the bridge with two structures that have wider shoulders that can accommodate the eventual expansion of I-270 to three lanes in each direction. A companion $35.4 million MoDOT project will reconstruct the Riverview Drive interchange just west of the bridge.

“The I-270 Chain of Rocks Bridge represents the great partnership between Missouri and Illinois investing in this vital freight corridor connecting I-270 to I-70,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who could not attend the event in person. “Along with the bridge, Missouri is transforming I-270 as well as making historic improvements to I-70 across the entire state.”

Construction began in late 2022, and should be finished in 2026 according to IDOT Secretary Omer Osman. “The I-270 project is extra special because of the partnership with Missouri to work together to improve safety, commerce and quality of life for an entire region,” he added.

Both Missouri and Illinois continue to coordinate on long-term plans to improve capacity and increase reliability of I-270 by adding a third lane in each direction.

IDOT noted that, within its current multiyear improvement program, $75 million in funding is coming from the six-year, $45 billion “Rebuild Illinois” capital plan passed in June 2019 by the Illinois legislature and signed into law by Gov. Pritzker for an additional lane between the river and just east of St. Thomas Road, a project that includes the reconstruction of the Illinois 3 interchange.


Source: AASHTO

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