Houbolt Road bridge opens Thursday in Joliet

Des Plaines River ridge part of 1.5 mile road extension built in two years

The Houbolt Road bridge will open at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Houbolt Road Extension JV, the private joint venture that built the bridge, announced the opening time on Tuesday.

The bridge over the Des Plaines River and road extension in Joliet creates a direct route between Interstate 80 and the CenterPoint Intermodal Center.

“The CIC is the nation’s largest inland port, with as many as 20,000 trucks passing through it daily,” a news release announcing the opening said. “This new bridge will help truckers maximize driver hours while creating a new avenue for companies to optimize their resources.”

Houbolt Road Extension JV is a joint venture between CenterPoint Properties and United Bridge Partners.

The privately financed project involved designing and building a 1.5-mile-long road extension, including the 0.4-mile-long bridge over the Des Plaines River. Construction started on March 8, 2021.

“United Bridge Partners is honored to serve the Joliet community by funding, building, and operating the Houbolt Road Extension,” company President and CEO Doug Witt said in the release. “Teamed with CenterPoint Properties, together we were able to rebuild and enhance the road and bridge infrastructure in Illinois.”

CenterPoint Properties Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy called the Houbolt Road Extension JV “a shining example of what can be accomplished when local, state, and federal entities partner with private companies to impact communities positively.”

Houbolt Road Extension JV will operate the bridge and collect tolls under a 99-year agreement with the city of Joliet, which owns the bridge.

The Houbolt Road Extension uses an all-electronic system that accepts toll payments through I-PASS, E-ZPass, and Pay-by-Plate, according to the release.

Toll rates are $2 for Class 1 passenger vehicles, $4 for Class 2 medium vehicles and $8 for Class 3 large vehicles. Pay-by-Plate rates include an additional $3.50 administrative fee.