The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that the reconstruction of Interstate 70 from just east of the I-57 and I-70 interchange to just east of the Cumberland/Effingham County line, east of Montrose, begins on March 6.
This $50 million, 7-mile project is expected to continue through the 2023 construction season. Initially, lane closures will occur in the westbound lanes during daytime hours for various operations including patching, striping and guardrail updates. Once those improvements are completed, barrier walls will be built with median crossovers, and all eastbound traffic will be diverted to the left westbound lane.
Additionally, the eastbound bridge over the Montrose Blacktop will be replaced. The eastbound Montrose on- and off-ramps will be closed while the crossovers are being utilized, and a marked state route detour will be in place. Construction on the I-70 westbound lanes and the replacement of the westbound bridge over the Montrose Blacktop will occur during the 2024 construction season.
On Feb. 15, IDOT hosted an informational meeting for emergency services and first responders to discuss the scope of work and emergency responses in preparation for the project. Highlighted safety features include emergency shoulder pull-offs, message boards indicating when traffic has slowed or stopped, and several access points are in place for first responders.
Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, reduce and maintain the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.