An off-ramp and two lanes were reopened last week near the Illinois 15 project over Illinois 13, and IDOT officials say it won’t be much longer before the project is completed.
“We are anticipating all work will be wrapped up by Sept. 1,” IDOT spokeswoman Kelsea Gurski said of the project, which is southeast of downtown Belleville and west of Eckert’s.
Gurski said two westbound lanes are now open on Illinois 15. However, only one Illinois 15 eastbound lane will be open while crews remove and replace the existing eastbound passing lane shoulder.
Lane restrictions have been in place since 2013, when IDOT began demolishing the eastbound bridge over Illinois 13 and the Illinois Central Railroad tracks. Until this week, those restrictions had remained a point of frustration for many motorists.
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Construction of the replacement bridge began in April 2015.
Glen Carbon-based Keller Construction was awarded the project by the Illinois Department of Transportation in January 2012 for $14.4 million. Even so, construction began three years later than scheduled and ran a budget at least $6 million over budget — bringing the final total to around $20.5 million.
The delays were caused by a redesign of the bridge to make sure there was enough clearance over the Illinois Central Railroad.
The state is incurring the higher cost after design flaws led to project delays during the work. Design work before the construction of the new bridges was awarded to STV Inc. IDOT agreed to pay the engineering firm more than $667,000 for the design work.