Unexpected design work will not push back the reopening of lanes on Illinois 13 and Illinois 15 in the winter of 2014, according to the state official overseeing the project.
Workers have been preparing since March to demolish and replace the overhead bridge where Illinois 13 passes underneath Illinois 15 in Belleville. All traffic has been closed at the bridge and commuters have faced restricted lanes and detours on Illinois 13 and Illinois 15.
The $14.5 million project recently faced a 5-week delay but crews will take extra measures to keep working while the weather cooperates, according to Tom Borsch with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Borsch is the supervising field engineer for the project.
The delay stemmed from some work located near railroad tracks. Additional work was needed to ensure soil would not settle near the railroad tracks, Borsch said.
"I know people are anxious to get things open," Borsch said. "It's been slow and steady. We will keep at it and do what we can to work this winter. We are still eyeing the end of next year for completion."
State workers received multiple inquiries wondering why workers were not visible at the site while the design work was being completed, Borsch said. Other inquiries came from commuters unable to see workers underneath the bridge.
"A lot of folks driving down Illinois 15 going over the crossover everyday really can't see the work on (Illinois) 15 if not driving in the working hours down below (the bridge)," Borsch said. "We are still in the beginning stages of constructing that structure. Most of the calls are people going by at six in the morning or after five at night who think nothing is going on."
More than 16,600 vehicles travel the route each day, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2501.