Reconstruction of the Murray Baker Bridge deck means the heavily traveled Interstate 74 artery will be completely closed in 2020. That’s the proposal outlined by the Illinois Department of Transportation Wednesday.
IDOT District 4 Chief of Program Development Karen Dvorsky says the rehabilitation is cheaper than a complete replacement.
“The bridge still has probably 20-plus years left if we do the rehabilitation. The cost of the rehabilitation is about 35-million, whereas a new bridge would be about 160-million,” says Dvorsky.
IDOT will replace the concrete deck, in addition to other repairs.
“The bridge deck is in poor condition. The joints are in poor condition as well. And we’re also going to take the opportunity to improve navigational and street lighting on the bridge,” Dvorsky says.
Dvorsky adds closing the Murray Baker bridge is best for public and construction crew safety. It will also limit the deck replacement to one construction season.
Interstate traffic will be directed to I-474. Eastbound I-74 traffic will exit at Knoxville. Westbound traffic will use the Riverfront Drive exit. The Main Street exit will be used for East Peoria business access.
Temporary ramps and surface streets will detour traffic across the Bob Michel Bridge. That work to create the detour route will begin next Spring.
The Murray Baker Bridge will completely close between April and November 2020.
IDOT is hosting a public hearing on the Murray Baker Bridge project on Wednesday, July 18 at the Gateway Building on the Peoria Riverfront. Public comment is welcome at that meeting. Comments can also be mailed or emailed through August 3 to: Mr. William Moser, Studies and Plans Engineer, Illinois Department of Transportation / Region 3 / District 4., 401 Main Street, Peoria, Illinois 61602. email@example.com