New study shows I-80 in northeast Illinois needs extensive improvement

Study indicates corridor has higher crash rates, many SD/FO bridges

January 15, 2018
I-80 in Will County

An Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) study released last week emphasizes the growing safety and congestion problems on a 16-mile stretch of I-80 in the northeastern part of the state that connects six of Will County’s municipalities and traverses four waterways.

For the study, ILEPI Transportation Policy Analyst Mary Craighead analyzed population and employment growth, traffic volumes, highway/bridge design, and accident patterns over the stretch of I-80 connecting Ridge Road and U.S. 30. She found that employment and population in the area are growing more than three times faster than the Chicagoland region as a whole.  Much of this growth includes warehousing and distribution businesses, resulting in considerably more heavy truck traffic than comparable highways.

With this stretch of I-80 built in the 1960s, the ILEPI study highlights a range of safety concerns that will only become more acute as the region grows. For example, I-80 near Joliet has higher fatal and overall crash rates than neighboring stretches with even higher traffic volumes, in addition to 26% of its bridges being “structurally deficient” and 46% considered “functionally obsolete.”

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has recommended the Ridge Road/U.S. 30 corridor of I-80 near Joliet for a $1.45 billion modernization project, which the ILEPI study notes would produce nearly 10,000 new jobs and add almost $400 million to the local economy. While no long-term funding for the project has yet been identified, the Illinois Department of Transportation has committed over $90 million towards short-term repairs through 2020.

---------

Source: ILEPI

Related Articles

It is estimated that Caltrans saved taxpayers more than $30 million by using a life-extending surface treatment.
It is estimated that Caltrans saved taxpayers more than $30 million by using a life-extending surface treatment.
Every year millions of people travel the iconic Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, stretching along the western coastline of…
March 02, 2020
Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge
Madawaska-Edmundston International Bridge. Image: Maine DOT
The Maine DOT recently released the 2020 edition of its Three-Year Work Plan, which includes all transportation capital projects and programs, …
January 17, 2020
Nebraska DOT 2020 program book
Image: Nebraska DOT
The Nebraska DOT (NDOT) recently released its 2020 construction program, which details transportation projects scheduled for funding over the next…
September 16, 2019
Maryland DOT Secretary Rahn at launch of Opportunity MDOT
Maryland DOT Secretary Rahn at launch of Opportunity MDOT
The Maryland DOT (MDOT) recently launched Opportunity MDOT, an innovative initiative that connects small, disadvantaged and minority-, women- and…
September 12, 2019
expand_less