Groundbreaking held for Houbolt Road Extension in Joliet, Illinois

Privately financed project involves constructing a new 1.5-mile-long highway extension

July 21, 2021 / 2 minute read
Groundbreaking held for Houbolt Road Extension in Joliet, Illinois
Image: Houbolt Road Extension JV LLC

Officials gathered Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony of the Houbolt Road Extension Project, a public-private partnership bringing infrastructure improvements to the City of Joliet, Illinois.

The privately financed project by Houbolt Road Extension JV LLC (HRE-JV)—a joint venture between United Bridge Partners and CenterPoint Properties—involves constructing a new 1.5-mile-long highway extension to connect I-80 with the CenterPoint Intermodal Center and its Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway intermodal facilities. The highway extension includes a 0.4-mile bridge over the Des Plaines River. The HRE-JV will also operate and maintain the bridge while collecting bridge tolls under a 99-year lease agreement with the City of Joliet. 

In addition to the four-lane Houbolt Road extension and bridge, the project will deliver the following improvements:

  • Turning and merging lanes from Houbolt Road to Schweitzer Road and U.S. Route 6.
  • A signalized intersection at Vetter and Schweitzer Roads.
  • Grading for a dedicated pedestrian/bicycle path parallel to the new roadway on Houbolt Road.

As many as 20,000 trucks pass through the CenterPoint Intermodal Center daily. Project leaders say constructing the third entrance to the park will significantly reduce truck traffic on local roads and significantly slash the center’s carbon footprint.

The publicly funded portion of the project will consist of a $32 million investment by the state of Illinois and the City of Joliet to construct a new diverging diamond interchange at I-80 and Houbolt Road and reconstruct Houbolt Road from I-80 to U.S. Route 6. 

Illinois Department of Transportation Region 1 Engineer Jose Rios said revamping the I-80 interchange for the Houbolt Road Extension Project is one of a multitude of infrastructure improvements in Governor JB Pritzker’s $33.2 billion Rebuild Illinois plan to upgrade infrastructure across all modes of transportation in the state. “This is an exciting time for the region because the Houbolt Bridge Project will coincide with the Governor’s vision to reconstruct I-80, a key travel and freight corridor for the entire country,” Rios said in a statement.

Construction on the project kicked off in March and is on track to be completed in Spring 2023. 

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SOURCE: Houbolt Road Extension JV LLC

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