Metro-East News

Your I-64 commute may be impacted by road work this week

Commuters who exit eastbound Interstate 64 at Illinois 161 will need to find an alternate route. The exit ramp from eastbound I-64 to Illinois 161 just west of New Baden has closed for about a week.

Illinois Department of Transportation workers are carrying out “critical pavement repairs” on the ramp, the agency said. Work is expected to be completed by 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Earlier this month, IDOT workers performed pavement repairs on the on ramp from Illinois 161 to eastbound I-64.

Motorists traveling to New Baden, Albers and Trenton from eastbound I-64 would have to exit in Mascoutah onto Route 4 before turning left onto Illinois 161. The detour is a little more than six miles.

“It will be inconvenient,” said Mike Hemmer, New Baden village administrator. “Hopefully they’ll knock it out in a few days.”

IDOT District 8 Operations Engineer Joseph Monroe said the evening rush is expected to be more affected by this closure.

Monroe said a cost on this project will be determined after it is completed. The agency’s patching contractor was unable to get to this location, so IDOT workers are completing the project.

Illinois 161 itself is unaffected by the road work.

Monroe did not have a traffic count for the off ramp.

The ramp had some good areas, but several areas needed repair, Hemmer said.

“It’s always a doubled-edged sword. (The ramp) needs the improvements done, needs the repairs done, but it hurts while they do it,” Hemmer said.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter