Interstate 255 in Illinois set to close for nearly all of 2020


Interstate 255 in Illinois will close between Interstate 64 and Collinsville in both directions Saturday, the first step in construction that will close the interstate for nearly all of 2020.

Starting in February and continuing through November, the $67 million reconstruction of Interstate 255 will completely replace the surface on seven miles of the pothole-filled road, which Illinois is calling “notorious” for its bad condition.

It is one of the first projects of the historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois road revitalization effort, which will fix a badly deteriorated section of interstate in the St. Louis Metro East area. The project will also include bridge repairs and drainage and safety improvements. 

“Due to lack of investment, I-255 is notorious for being one of the worst roads in the state,” the Illinois state government said in a news release. “Most of the pavement dates back to when the interstate was built in the 1980s. Emergency repairs that inconvenience motorists are frequent because of multiple pavement failures and large potholes.”

The Jefferson Barracks Bridge will remain open during construction on the Illinois side, but anyone traveling on the interstate from Missouri will not be able to advance past the Interstate 64 exit near East St. Louis and Fairview Heights.

The first half of construction will shut down the interstate from Interstate 64 to the connection to Interstate 55 at Collinsville. Once that’s complete this summer, the second half of construction will shut down 255 from Illinois Route 15 at Belleville to Interstate 64.

Construction is slated to end by Nov. 25.

While this project will require a complete closure of the interstate to all traffic for one construction season, it enables the project to be completed “cheaper, faster and safer,” the Illinois Department of Transportation said. The project would take four years if construction was staged. 

“Removing traffic from I-255 allows us to complete these much-needed repairs more quickly, cheaply and safely. We ask for the public’s cooperation in planning ahead,” said acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman in a news release. “Please take some time to coordinate your trips and consider taking our suggested alternate routes. Our No. 1 priority is safety while finishing the project as quickly as possible and minimizing the impacts to the motoring public and surrounding communities.”

Completely closing the interstate:

     * Significantly reduces completion time to 10 months, instead of 4 years.
     * Saves $14 million.
     * Increases worker safety by keeping traffic out of the work zone.
     * Reduces accidents by eliminating the need for work zone lane shifts.

The project consists of rehabilitating and resurfacing approximately seven miles of I-255 from Collinsville Road to Illinois 15 in two sections separated by Interstate 64, with significant bridge repairs, safety improvements and drainage upgrades.  This project will restore the roadway and bridges to a smooth and safe condition for motorists and will support future investment in the region.

North Section Closure:  February 1, 2020 – Map

Project Completion:  November 25, 2020

Awarded Construction Cost:  $67 million

While Interstates 55/70 and 64 will be the marked detour, depending on direction of travel, the following alternate routes should be considered: Illinois 3, Illinois 15, Illinois 157, Illinois 158, Illinois 159 and Illinois 161.

Read more on the project at IDOT’s website.

Here is the scheduled closure for the first half of construction: