I-74 Murray Baker Bridge Rehabilitation Project

1. What is the purpose of the project?

The purpose of the project is to improve the condition and extend the life of the structure. Rehabilitation of the structure includes: • Replacing concrete deck • Repairing structural steel members • Painting the structural steel, as needed • Replacing the roadway lighting • Replacing the navigational lighting

2. What are the reasons for closing the bridge to traffic during construction?

The project includes a 7-month bridge closure from March 29, 2020 to October 31, 2020. Reasons for closing the bridge include: • Separation of traffic from work area for the safety of motorists and workers • Reduce project duration (to one construction season) • Reduce construction cost •Reduce traffic backups on mainline I-74

3. What is the current traffic volume?

ADT = 67,600

4. How much does the project cost?

The bid price was $42.2 million

5. What is the estimated finish time?

It is anticipated that the bridge will be opened to the travelling public by November of 2020.

6. Is there any land acquisition required? If yes, how much?

No land acquisition was required for the Murray Baker Bridge project.

7. Are alternate routes in place and, if so, what are the details?

Posted detours will be in place prior to the bridge closure, for both I-74 through traffic and local traffic in the downtown areas.

8. Are there any major existing road or environment hurdles that will be faced?


9. Are there any preexisting community issues with this project? If yes, what are they?

The same bridge was closed to traffic in 2005 for about 6 months, as part of the much larger/longer Upgrade I-74 project. The community adapted well to the closure.

10. What is the biggest benefits to the project?

Public Safety

11. Are there any major milestones over the course of the project?

No. By closing the bridge to traffic during construction, we have shortened the project schedule to one construction season.

12. How will the project affect my regular commute?

If you use the I-74 bridge across the Illinois River, you will need to find an alternate route during the 7-month closure. There will be alternate routes posted; though area residents will be able to find other unmarked detours to suit their needs.

13. What impact will this have on the public transit system?

The District has coordinated with CityLink so they can prepare for the traffic changes during the bridge closure.

14. Will school bus routes be affected?


15. What’s the time and cost savings doing a full closure vs. staged construction?

The time savings for a full closure vs staged construction will be about one full construction season. The cost savings are a bit harder to quantify, but there will be a savings due to contractor efficiency by removing vehicular traffic from the construction site.

16. What are the benefits of a full closure beyond time and cost savings?

Public Safety.

17. Why was the bridge allowed to get this condition to warrant completely shutting it down?

The condition of the bridge did not determine the need for the bridge closure. Shutting the bridge down to expedite construction and increase public safety was a strategic decision.

18. If the bridge is closed will parts be reopened at any time prior to the completion of construction?

The project includes a 7-month full bridge closure from March 29, 2020 to October 31, 2020. After that time, the bridge will be fully opened to the public.

19. Are you having to adjust your schedule for other projects in the area due to the Murray Baker Bridge project? If yes, which ones?

Yes, schedules for other nearby area projects were adjusted to avoid and/or minimize traffic disruptions during the I-74 bridge closure. Improvements on proposed detour route was completed last year (2019), in advance of the closure. The next major bridge upstream, the McClugage Bridge (US Route 150 over the Illinois River) is currently under construction, but no lane closure will be allowed for that project while the Murray Baker Bridge (I-74) is closed.