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Pritzker Administration Breaks Ground on $216.8M Rebuild Illinois Funded I-57/74

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, IL — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) were joined by local officials and community leaders to announce the start of construction on a new Interstate 57/74 interchange, one of the cornerstone projects of the governor's historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program. The $216.8-million project will rebuild the original interchange built more than 50 years ago, improve safety and mobility, and create thousands of construction and permanent jobs while positioning the region for long-term economic opportunity.

"Today we're breaking ground on the next stage of this $216-million multi-year project to completely reconfigure the interchange: constructing 11 new bridge structures and new ramp pavements, improving traffic flow and safety, and setting the stage for future economic growth in Central Illinois," Pritzker said. "And this isn't just an infrastructure plan. It's a jobs plan. Taken as a whole, Rebuild Illinois is creating and supporting hundreds of thousands of new jobs in our state with good wages and benefits."

The I-57/74 rebuild will replace a traditional cloverleaf interchange built in 1965 that no longer meets current traffic volumes and demands with a new design that includes two flyover ramps to improve traffic flow and efficiency for traveling in the region: Eastbound I-74 to northbound I-57 and westbound I-74 to southbound I-57. A third, auxiliary lane also will be added to both directions of I-74 between Prospect and Duncan Road.

Upon completion in 2025, the new interchange will eliminate the merging, weaving, and slow speeds of the existing structure, resulting in better travel times and much fewer conflicts between vehicles.

The start of construction initially will require some overnight lane closures while temporary pavement is built to accommodate traffic during construction. Most of the activity during the day will consist of excavation work to build the footprint of the new interchange and have little impact on traffic.

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In addition to acting as gateways to the University of Illinois and manufacturing, logistics, health care, and agricultural industries, I-57 and I-74 each serve almost 35,000 vehicles a day in Champaign-Urbana, nearly 25 percent of which are trucks.

"The I-57/74 interchange is one of the most significant freight and travel hubs in the entire country, but long overdue for replacement," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "As always, when driving through or approaching any work zone, please be patient, slow down, put down the devices to give the road your undivided attention, and pardon our dust while we rebuild Illinois."

Workers on the project include graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, an IDOT initiative in partnership with Parkland Community College in Champaign to provide minority and female students the opportunity to get on-the-job experience toward full-time work and a career in the construction trades.

Since last year, IDOT has been rebuilding the Mattis Avenue bridges over I-57/74 and the U.S. 150 bridge over I-57 to facilitate the rebuilt, larger interchange, a combined investment of $29.5 million.

The I-57/74 project is just one of many road and bridge improvements in Champaign-Urbana made possible by Rebuild Illinois, representing an additional $83-million investment in the region. Through year two of Rebuild Illinois, IDOT has made approximately $5.2 billion in improvements to more than 3,000 miles of highway and almost 300 bridges, as well as almost 450 additional safety improvements.

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