1 vote

I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge


Photo taken by Steve Conro in January 2012


BH Photo #222887

Street View 


Pair of through truss bridges over Des Plaines on I-80 in Joliet
Joliet, Will County, Illinois
Open to traffic
Built 1965; rehabilitated 1998
Warren through truss
Length of largest span: 362.7 ft.
Total length: 2,299.2 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 42.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 17.3 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.51171, -88.09151   (decimal degrees)
41°30'42" N, 88°05'29" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/408915/4596139 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
IL 099-0057 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15742 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 60 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 1, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Doomed"
  • January 26, 2017: New photo from Dave King
  • February 28, 2012: New photos from Steve Conro
  • January 6, 2012: New photos from Steve Conro
  • December 10, 2011: Updated by J.P.: updated design
  • March 19, 2011: New Street View added by Kim Harvey

Related Bridges 



I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge
Posted February 20, 2019, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

I live in the area, and cross this bridge from time to time. It has certainly been in the news lately, especially after the Lake Shore Drive bridge partial collapse two weeks ago. As bad as its structural condition is, it is perhaps worse functionally - it's a huge bottleneck. It carries 10,000 trucks per day, a reason for both its physical condition, and its traffic congestion.

What is needed is a 4-bridge solution. Build two new bridges on either side of the existing bridges. Divert all traffic to them and totally rehabilitate the old bridges. With no traffic on them, this could be done really well. When done, keep the two new bridges as service/feeder/collector roads to keep the local traffic off the main roadway, and eliminate a couple of suicide merges approaching the bridges. The existing bridges are each already 3 lanes wide, which will be adequate for the mainline once the bad merges and local traffic are diverted to the new service road bridges.

A phased 4-bridge approach like this could both solve the traffic issues here, and preserve the historic but inadequate and crumbling bridges. This would be a win-win, compared to the proposed solution to tear down the existing bridges and replace them with new, wider bridges. This isn't just any road, it's Interstate 80. Complete replacement would be as bad as a failure - several years of a devastating regional and transcontinental traffic nightmare.

I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge
Posted February 17, 2019, by spuwho (edwaleni5 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge was rated a 6 out of 100 in 2018 which is classified as "intolerable". The redecking in 1998 is starting to show rebar expansion damage on the underside already.

Another problem is extensive rebar expansion damage in the support pylons. The recent "repair" is starting to show cracks already.

IDOT just announced they are stepping up inspections to every 6 months. No replacement funding is in place.

I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge
Posted February 1, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


While I agree with you I assume it may be doomed anyway, since the same could be said for all the truss bridges on the Illinois River... most of them were both beautiful and in good condition yet they are being demolished and replaced at a high rate.

I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge
Posted February 1, 2018, by James Wireman (jameslovesbridges_86 [at] ymail [dot] com)

This Bridge Over the Des Plaines River is not Doomed Because I Believe this Cool Bridge is still in Good Condition, So How Can this Bridge Be Doomed?

I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge
Posted February 1, 2018, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Possibly doomed, as being a chokepoint on a badly overburdened stretch of I-80. The website below outlines preliminary plans to widen the road, which almost certainly will involve replacing this bridge. Also, it has suffered a bit from 50 years of pounding by an endless stream of big trucks.