The Illinois Tollway will begin work on the $95 million Fox River Bridge Project on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Elgin this week. The project begins with closure of the bicycle and pedestrian bridge under the Fox River Bridge and mobilization of equipment this week to begin preparing for bridge removal and reconstruction.
The Fox River Bridge was constructed as part of the original Tollway system in the 1950s. The Illinois Tollway is rebuilding and widening it as part of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016, including construction of two new, wider bridge structures, drainage improvements and replacement of the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge.
“The Fox River Bridge is a critical piece of our $2.5 billion I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “Our goal is to make construction as convenient as possible for residents and businesses, while delivering a new, wider bridge that is more sensitive to the environment.”
This week, the contractor will begin moving equipment to the construction site under the Fox River Bridge west of Duncan Avenue, including cranes, excavators and earth moving equipment needed to begin work on the Fox River Bridge structures. Delays are expected on Duncan Avenue while construction equipment and materials are moved onto the construction site.
Work is also scheduled to begin this week to relocate overhead electrical lines along Duncan Avenue, and the north-south portion of the Fox River Trail under I-90 will be temporarily closed until the utility work is completed. The utility relocation is weather dependent and anticipated to be completed by early July.
In addition, later this week on I-90, temporary, off-peak lane closures in both directions will be scheduled to remove rumble strips from the shoulders along the Fox River Bridge in preparation for a traffic shift scheduled for the week of July 7. I-90 traffic in both directions will be shifted to the right through early fall to provide a work zone for crews to remove the median barrier and prepare the median shoulders for the next phase of traffic shifts later this fall.
Bike, Pedestrian Bridge Closed for Removal
Closure and removal of the 660 foot-long bicycle and pedestrian bridge located underneath the Fox River Bridge is necessary for the reconstruction of the I-90 Fox River Bridge. The four spans that make up the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge will be removed in smaller sections and delivered to the Forest Preserve District of Kane County for its future use.
Once the bicycle and pedestrian bridge has been removed, work will begin in the Fox River to build two construction platforms under the bridge. The temporary platforms made of crushed rock will extend about 185 feet from each bank and will be 200 feet wide, with space between to allow the Fox River to flow through.
The platforms will be used to move equipment into the river and under the bridge for removal of the bridge above, as well as to construct the new bridge support piers in the water. Construction of the platforms is expected to take a month to complete.
The Fox River Bridge Project will include construction of two new bridge structures that will increase capacity from six lanes to eight lanes with full shoulders in both directions to accommodate the new, wider I-90 roadway. Currently, up to 101,300 vehicles travel on the I-90 Fox River Bridge daily. A new, wider bicycle and pedestrian bridge underneath the Fox River Bridge will also be constructed as part of the project.
The new bridge structures will be 1,315-feet long and will stand 40 feet above the surface of the Fox River and adjacent roadways. The structures will be built with eight spans supported by seven piers to reduce the environmental impact on the waterway and forested fen below. The existing structures have 14 piers.
The Tollway is coordinating work on the Fox River Bridge Project with the city of Elgin, Kane County, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), IDNR Office of Water Resources and the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission.
The Fox River Bridge Project is funded by the Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.
SOURCE: Illinois Tollway press release