The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that bridge deck patching and repairs to Interstate 80 between Raynor Avenue and Gardner Street in Joliet will require ramp and lane closures over multiple extended weekends.

This is the fourth of eight planned weekend closures along the corridor. Starting at 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 29, lane closures will occur on westbound I-80 between Rowell and Wheeler Avenues, and the ramp from Richards Street to westbound I-80 will be closed. Drivers should follow the posted detour to access the expressway. At least one westbound I-80 lane will remain open at all times and eastbound I-80 will not be impacted. Westbound I-80 drivers traveling through the area should consider alternative routes to avoid the work area. Local streets are unable to accommodate heavy or wide trucks, so drivers of those trucks should use other interstate routes. The ramp and all lanes are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. on Monday, October 3.

The eastbound I-80 ramp to Richards Street is closed for reconstruction and is expected to reopen in late fall. The posted detour directs traffic to exit Briggs Street and reenter westbound I-80 to access the Richards Street exit. Additional extended weekend lane and ramp closures are scheduled to take place from 10 p.m. Thursdays to 5 a.m. Mondays, alternating between westbound and eastbound I-80 for approximately four additional consecutive weekends, weather permitting, to complete the project. Work consists of patching, milling, resurfacing and pavement striping to keep the pavement in acceptable condition until the larger corridor project can begin.

By scheduling the work over multiple weekends this fall, the unplanned, emergency closures that have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years can be minimized. By planning the repairs, they can be performed more safely and allow drivers the opportunity to plan ahead and use alternative routes to avoid the work area when possible.

Once the eastbound improvements are completed later this year, similar improvements will begin in the westbound direction. Plans are being finalized on the overall I-80 project that will redesign and rebuild 16 miles from Ridge Road in Minooka to U.S. 30 in Joliet and New Lenox while adding or extending auxiliary lanes to improve safety and reduce congestion. Interchanges are planned to be rebuilt or improved at Interstate 55, Illinois 7, Center Street, Chicago Street, Richards Street and Briggs Street with a new flyover ramp connecting southbound I-55 to eastbound I-80 to improve traffic flow and safety. More than 30 bridges are scheduled to be rehabilitated or replaced, including those over the Des Plaines River.

For a map of current IDOT construction zones, click here.