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IDOT: I-55 Upgrades Start This Weekend, Will Mean Delays

Brett Blume
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Jeff Church, IDOT Project Implementation Engineer, District 8. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

Jeff Church, IDOT Project Implementation Engineer, District 8. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX/IDOT) –  Illinois Department of Transportation officials Friday formally announced $76.1 million in roadway improvements on Interstate 55 in Madison County.

The agency also outlined anticipated traffic delays and essential lane closures.

“Interstate 55 is a major roadway in the United States that thousands of motorists and businesses heavily rely upon as a safe and vital option to address their transportation and logistical needs,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.  “Safety continues to be a top priority at IDOT as these major roadway projects will provide cost-effective and safe transportation routes for Illinois, which also boost the local economy.”

The three roadway projects that make up the planned work include:

Replacement and asphalt reconstruction along 11 miles of I-55 pavement from the I-55/70-270 interchange north to Illinois Route 140.

One lane will need to be closed on southbound Interstate 55 from Fruit Road in Hamel to Interstate 70-270.

This lane closure is necessary to safely reconstruct the pavement.

Work on this phase of the project will begin Sunday, May 8th at 6 pm and should be completed by the end of May.

At least one of the two lanes will remain open at all times.

This work is the first of four phases that will require lane closures on northbound and southbound I-55 from just north of IL Rte. 140 to Interstate 70-270.

The second project includes construction of a new single point diamond interchange including a new bridge and traffic signals on I-55/70 at IL Rte. 162 near Troy.

The estimated $23.5 million project began in August 2009 and is expected to wrap up by the summer of 2012.

The third project will cost approximately #10.4 million and consists of five miles of pavement patching and resurfacing on I-55 from .5 miles north of IL Rte. 4 to the Macoupin County line.

IDOT Project Implementation Engineer Jeff Church says incentives are in place to make sure the contractor wraps up work within the 80-day time limit.

“$15,000 a day.  So for example if the contractor gets done in 75 days, they’d be eligible for a 5-day times $15,000 incentive, or $75,000,” Church explained during a press conference Friday in Collinsville.

Conversely, the contractor faces fines in that amount for every day that the project runs long.

Church did point out those 80 days don’t have to be consecutive and the contractor can take breaks now and then.

Starting Sunday, Church explained, one lane of southbound I-55 will be shut down through the end of May.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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