I-74 CNRR Bridge Replacements


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I-74 Over Canadian National Railroad & Market Street


Starting in August, IDOT will undertake a major rehabilitation effort for two key pieces of the Champaign-Urbana infrastructure.  This project was selected for the historic, bipartisan, Rebuild Illinois plan due to deteriorated bridge decks, failed expansion joints, and vertical clearances that does not meet current requirements.

The structure that carries Market Street was built in 1957, and was widened in 1992 when the Department installed the third auxiliary lane through this section. The structure carrying the Illinois Central Railroad and Oak Street was built in 1956 and was also widened in 1992 during the auxiliary lane addition.

This project brings an investment of $32.6 million to the Champaign-Urbana community and work is expected to begin in early August. The contract has been awarded to Sangamo Construction of Springfield (IL). During the 2020 construction season, crews will be working to install temporary lighting and temporary pavements for the following year’s construction. Starting in 2021, crossovers will be in place, providing two lanes of traffic for each direction while one side of each structure is constructed.  Each winter, the contractor will finish construction and will return traffic to its pre-construction configuration. Construction will resume in April of 2021 and 2022, respectively. The project is expected to be completed in November, 2022.



  • What is the purpose of the project?
    • The purpose of the project is to remove and reconstruct the bridges over Market Street and the Canadian National railroad. 
  • What are the reasons for closing the bridge to traffic during construction?
    • The bridge will never be completely closed; two lanes will be open to traffic in each direction on I-74 during the day. During nighttime hours, a minimum of one lane in each direction will be open. Nighttime lane closures will not occur very often. 
  • What’s the time and cost savings of building one direction at a time with a crossover vs. staged construction?
    • Public safety is THE priority and the primary benefit of building one direction at a time. Working on one direction at a time also greatly improves safety in the work zone, reduces overall costs and shortens construction time. Staged construction doubles the duration of the project due to the limitations of only being able to construct one-half of the bridge at a time.
  • What is the current traffic volume?
    • Average Daily Traffic (ADT): 63,100
  • How much does the project cost?
    • Approximately $32.7 million.
  • What is the estimated start time?
    • There are three stages of the project. Stage one starts in August, stage two in April 2021 and stage three begins in April 2022
  • What is the estimated finish time?
    • The first stage will be completed in November 2020. The second will finish in November 2021. The final project completion date is November 2022.
  • Are alternate routes in place and, if so, what are the details?
    • There will be alternate routes for I-74, both eastbound and westbound. Signs will be posted. 
  • What is the biggest benefit to the project?
    • Public safety is the biggest benefit to the project. The new bridges will feature safety improvements such as: updated guardrails, improved lighting, increased friction across the bridges and new pavement markings.
  • How will the project affect my commute?
    • The only effects will be the need to use caution in construction zones and following the posted speed limits. Periodically, traffic will be reduced to one lane during evening hours for minor construction. During the majority of the project, two lanes in each direction will be open, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The dedicated turn lane will be closed during construction. This will require normal merge movements like other interchanges.
  • Will school bus routes be affected?
    • School bus routes will not be affected. 
  • Are you having to adjust your schedule for other projects in the area due to the project? If yes, which ones?
    • We will be working concurrently with other projects and coordinating with contractors as necessary. 
  • What kind of outreach are you doing so people know this is coming? What about out-of-state travelers and truckers?
    • Our website will be updated frequently to keep the public informed of any upcoming construction that may impact travel. Press releases will also be issued as needed. Any necessary notice to out-of-state travelers will be addressed by IDOT.
  • Will the damaged beam on the Market Street bridge be replaced? Will the vertical clearance be raised to avoid future damage?  
    • Yes, the damaged beam will be replaced, and the vertical clearance will be increased.  The damaged area is inspected every month to ensure that everything is safe and that no further deterioration has occurred.
  • The yellow shoring towers west of Oak Street have been up for a while and were on the news recently. Are these permanent or will they be removed? 
    • These towers are only temporary and will be removed after the bridge work has been completed. The bridge is inspected every three months to ensure that everything is safe and that the towers are functioning as designed.
  • This project will be ongoing for a few years. What will the traffic pattern be over the winter during snow removal season? 
    •  At the conclusion of each construction season, all lanes will be open to traffic, including the dedicated turn lanes, barring any major setbacks. 
  • Will the bridge project impact any of the train schedules?
    • No.

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