The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced on Monday the upcoming completion of the Bob Michel Bridge rehabilitation. The $24.6 million project also better connects people who walk, bike and roll between the East Peoria Levee and Peoria Warehouse districts. The work was condensed into one construction season, making completion of the improvements quicker, safer and cheaper.
“As a lifelong Peorian, I’m very pleased to see the Bob Michel Bridge modernization and improvement project come to fruition,” said House Deputy Minority Leader Ryan Spain (R-Peoria). “The Peoria region is an economic and transportation hub for central Illinois. With the completion of this project and the continuing investment in our infrastructure, particularly our network of river bridges, it will help ensure long-term benefits for our communities, families and small businesses for many years to come.”
The Bob Michel Bridge carries approximately 17,000 vehicles a day on Illinois 40 over the Illinois River between Peoria and East Peoria, with both communities experiencing thriving commercial and retail revitalization along the riverfront. In March, it was closed to accommodate the construction of a new deck, a first since the bridge opened in 1993. The project also included structural repairs, modernized traffic signals and drainage improvements.
Narrow sidewalks on both sides of traffic were consolidated into a 14-foot-wide path protected from Illinois 40 by a concrete barrier, providing a safer travel option for bicyclists and pedestrians while providing connections to the region’s trail network, including the Rock Island Greenway Trail and the River Trail of Illinois. New LED lighting was installed to improve visibility and safety.
All project elements are anticipated to wrap up with the bridge reopening, weather permitting, in mid-December.
By closing the bridge completely to cars and trucks and not performing the work in multiple phases, the project was completed in less than a year, resulting in a time and cost savings. The safety risk to workers and the public also was reduced by eliminating traffic moving through the work zone.
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