$95 Million Fox River Bridge Work Gums Traffic This Week But Carries Big Promise for Elgin

$95 Million Fox River Bridge Work Gums Traffic This Week But Carries Big Promise for Elgin


Construction work started on Monday and is expected to be completed by tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 17, 2015), for the ambitious I-90 Fox River Bridge project, according to the Illinois Tollway.

This week, area residents are enduring short-term, temporary closures of a portion of Duncan Avenue in Elgin under the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Fox River Bridge. The work also requires closure of a portion of the Fox River Trail crossing under I-90.

But longterm transportation benefits of the Illinois Tollway’s $95 million Fox River Bridge Project might be worth the wait. The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2016 and is part of the I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project that will will increase capacity from six lanes to eight lanes with full shoulders in both directions.

So far, construction of the new westbound I-90 Fox River Bridge structure has been completed on schedule, and three lanes of traffic in each direction have been moved onto the new bridge to facilitate removal and reconstruction of the eastbound bridge structure.

Continuing daily through Friday, temporary, full roadway closures, each lasting up to 15 minutes, will be in place on Duncan Avenue under the Fox River Bridge while crews begin removal of the eastbound I-90 bridge overhead. The temporary closures are allowed daily between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Flaggers are located at Higgins Road to the north and Trout Park Boulevard to the south to direct drivers to Illinois Route 25 as an alternate route during the temporary closures.

In addition, the Fox River Trail is closed at the Fox River Bridge during each intermittent, 15-minute closure and signage is posted to alert trail users.

Throughout construction of the new Fox River Bridge, bicycle and pedestrian access is being maintained on the Fox River Trail located on the east side of Fox River in Elgin and passing through the middle of the Fox River Bridge Project work zone. About 300 feet of the Fox River Trail is temporarily relocated to the east adjacent to Duncan Avenue, extending from the Trout Park parking lot to the south, traveling under the Fox River Bridge and connecting back to the Fox River Trail to the north of the bridge.

Work Zone Safety

The work zone speed limit on Duncan Avenue is 30 mph in both directions, whether or not workers are present. Drivers should continue to watch for changing traffic patterns and use caution at all times.

Illinois State Police have zero tolerance for drivers speeding in work zones. The minimum penalty for speeding in a work zone is $375. Posted signs advise drivers of a $10,000 fine and 14-year jail sentence for hitting a roadway worker.

Fox River Bridge Project

The $95 million Fox River Bridge Project includes 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 and also provide for drainage improvements and replacement of the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge.

The new Fox River Bridge will include two, side-by-side 1,315-foot-long structures that will stand 40 feet above the surface of the Fox River and adjacent roadways. Each of the new structures will have fewer piers to reduce the environmental impact on the waterway and forested fen below. The new bridge structures will have eight spans supported by seven piers. The old bridge structures had 14 piers.

To construct the new bridge structures, two temporary construction platforms have been built in the Fox River under the bridge. The platforms extend about 185 feet from each bank and are 200 feet wide, with a 180-foot gap between to allow the Fox River to flow through. The platforms are constructed with sheet piling on four sides driven deep into the river bed and then filled with 3-inch rocks, forming a platform base which is used to move equipment under the bridge for construction of the new piers to support the new bridge structures.

In addition, an innovative overhead gantry system is being used throughout the project to lift and move new bridge beams into place and eliminate the need to stage cranes on the existing bridge structure, which would have required lane closures.

Currently, up to 101,300 vehicles travel on the I-90 Fox River Bridge daily. 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 Office of Water Resources and the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission.

The $95 million 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. Constructed as part of the original Tollway system in the 1950s, rebuilding and widening the Fox River Bridge is necessary to accommodate the $2.5 billion I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project. Work is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2016.

I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project

The $2.5 billion Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) Rebuilding and Widening Project will deliver a 21st century, state-of-the-art corridor linking Rockford to O’Hare International Airport. The I-90 corridor from downtown Chicago to Rockford serves nearly one million travelers per day. The project encompasses 62 miles and features six reconstructed and expanded lanes from Randall Road to I-39 near Rockford completed in 2014 and reconstruction and expansion to eight lanes from the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to Randall Road in Elgin to be completed in 2016. The new I-90 will also feature significant improvements to seven interchanges and bus on shoulder service along the eastern segment in partnership with Pace. In addition, the new I-90 includes flexible infrastructure to enable the Tollway to add new “smart” features and future transit expansion for the first time in the agency’s history.

Getting Tollway Construction Information

The Illinois Tollway has a variety of ways customers can get the latest travel information, including:

  • www.illinoistollway.com – Construction/Planning section, Tollway Trip Calculator, live roadway images and real-time roadway incident information.
  • 1-800-TOLL-FYI – Daily lane closure information.
  • www.travelmidwest.com – Real-time travel times
  • www.twitter.com – Real-time roadway incident information at Tollway Trip 90, Tollway Trip 88, Tollway Trip 355 and Tollway Trip 94/294

About Move Illinois

The Illinois Tollway’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, will improve mobility, relieve congestion, reduce pollution, create as many as 120,000 jobs and link economies across the Midwest region. Move Illinois will address the remaining needs of the existing Tollway system; rebuild and widen the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) as a state-of-the- art 21st century corridor; construct a new interchange to connect the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) to I-57; build a new, all-electronic Elgin O’Hare Western Access and fund planning studies for emerging projects.

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).

SOURCE: Illinois Tollway news release