McClugage Bridge project underway, Eastbound bridge to be demolished, transformed

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The McCluggage Bridge project is underway.

In 2023 — this 70-year-old eastbound bridge will be gone and replaced with a brand new bridge.

The existing structure is not up-to-date with current design standards or safety criteria, plus weather, vehicle use, age, and salt used in snow removal have caused deterioration. The average daily traffic use of over 20,000 eastbound vehicles predicts that the current two-lane bridge will be insufficient for accommodating future traffic needs. Furthermore, the needs of bicycles and pedestrians must be considered since this bridge is a major crossing point over the Illinois River. The additional lane and accommodation considerations could mean the current 30- foot wide bridge could significantly increase in width. The combination of all these factors indicates the need for another rehabilitation, or complete reconstruction, of the eastbound bridge structure.

IDOT Frequently Asked Questions

Crews are already starting their work and have their construction deck here already on the Illinois River.

“Right now we’re starting to build the piers on the Peoria side, we’re working on piers 3, 4, and 5 of 22 total,” said Illinois Department of Transportation Construction Field Engineer Nick Volk.

When you’re driving across the current bridges, you’ll notice a structure built with cranes, trucks, and workers.

“The main thing that’s noticeable to most of your viewers, we’re building a temporary Tressel on the East Peoria and Peoria side. So when you look over the side of the bridge, that’s what you’ll see. It’s a temporary platform in order to bridge all the piers that are out in the water,” Volk said.

Nick Volk from IDOT said boaters and bystanders need to be aware of the job site. The easiest advice, is to stay clear.

“There’s a lot more in the river in this area right now besides the two bridges. There’s a lot of piling for this Tressel in there,” Volk said.

Volk said crews are hoping to start working on the roadway by the end of 2020, but their work is at the beck and call of Mother Nature.

The plan is once the brand new bridge is created, crews will demolish the current structure.

The new bridge will have a multi-use path on it for pedestrians and bikers. There will also be a pedestrian overlook of the river.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is sponsoring the project, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). IDOT has contracted with the joint venture project team of T.Y. Lin International and Hanson Professional Services Inc. to complete the McClugage Bridge project preliminary engineering and design, which includes stakeholder and public engagement throughout the process.

IDOT FAQs website

The project is estimated to cost $210 million. The funding came from the “Major Bridge Funds” for Illinois.

The project began in early 2014 with the environmental study process that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The Peoria region currently has a large network of bicycle and pedestrian trails. Some of the current trails run north and south on both sides of the McClugage bridge, making a trail connection over the river a logical consideration. Also, because this bridge is a major crossing point over the Illinois River, it is important to provide access for many modes of transportation. Adding a bike and pedestrian lane will potentially add another 10 to 12 feet to the width of a new bridge structure. Accommodating this additional width will be considered in the preliminary alignment alternatives.

IDOT McClugage Bridge FAQs

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