PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — The Bob Michel Bridge is closed due to major construction work.
Built in 1993, the Bob Michel Bridge spans a half mile over the Illinois River. The bridge is one of six connecting East Peoria and Peoria.
Construction started Monday meaning in the next eight months the bridge’s sidewalk will be removed, the outside shoulders will be reduced to 3.5 feet wide, and the bike space will be consolidated to the north side of the bridge.
The $24,000,000 dollar redesign will result in a 14-foot wide multi-use path with a concrete barrier separating the sidewalk from the roadway.
Currently, the Bob Michel Bridge is the only bridge crossing the Illinois River with pedestrian access, but not for long.
“After this construction is done and the new span is done on the McClugage bridge we’ll have two,” said the Associate Historian at the Dirksen Congressional Center, Chris Kaergard.
After four years of construction, the McClugage bridge is set to be finished by February 2024.
In the coming months, residents will be able to see the bridge take its shape when a 650-foot arch is installed later this summer.
When the eastbound work is done the westbound McClugage will undergo a major rehabilitation ya know which will include repairs, painting, and a new deck so it’s going to be something really special to see and great when it’s done,” said the Illinois Department of Transportation Information Officer Paul Wappel.
The Lacon Bridge is set to close from March 18th through November 2023. The multi-million dollar project will include steel repair, roadway lighting, drainage improvements, painting, and joint replacement.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience we know it’s kind of a challenge but when all of these projects are done they will be worth it,” said Wappel.
The Bob Michel Bridge will remain open for pedestrian use.