News - Joliet and Will County

I-80 project in Joliet: Will it wrap up early again?

Lanes were reopened early Sunday the last two weekends

Interstate 80 repairs in Joliet ended ahead of schedule the last two weekends, but there’s no promise that will happen again.

The Illinois Department of Transportation continues its weekend-by-weekend road and bridge repairs that narrow I-80 to one lane, although traffic is restricted to one lane in only one direction at a time.

The repairs switch back to eastbound lanes this weekend, the third weekend of the construction project planned for eight weekends over all.

Fridays have been the most congested with commuter traffic narrowed down to one lane. During peak travel times, it has taken as long as two hours to get through Joliet on Fridays during the construction.

The lane closures starts at 10 p.m. on Thursdays and are scheduled to end by 5 a.m. on Mondays.

But IDOT has been able to reopen lanes in the early morning hours on Sundays for two straight weekends. Westbound lanes reopened at 12:30 a.m. this past Sunday. On Sunday, Sept. 11, eastbound lanes were reopened by 2 a.m.

“It will be on a weekend-by-weekend basis,” IDOT spokeswoman Maria Castaneda said. “Depending on the weather and how much work is needed in each area will determine just how much time each section will take. The lanes will be reopened as early as possible. However, exactly what those times are will vary.”

This weekend, eastbound traffic will be restricted to one lane for road repairs and bridge-deck patching on the Joliet section of I-80 between Raynor Avenue and Gardner Street.

Also, the ramp from Chicago Street to eastbound I-80 will be closed. Chicago Street also serves as U.S. Route 52 and Illinois 53. The eastbound I-80 ramp to Richards Street also is closed for reconstruction.

As it has since before the project started, IDOT is advising motorists to seek alternative routes and truckers to look for other interstates to avoid the construction zone.

About 80,000 vehicles a day use I-80 through Joliet and Will County, IDOT said. About 25% of those are trucks.

The work being now comes in advance of a larger I-80 project that will stretch 16 miles from Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka. IDOT will rebuild interchanges, replace the Des Plaines River bridges, and add auxiliary lanes.