PEORIA – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation were joined today by community leaders to tour and celebrate the ongoing construction of the new eastbound McClugage Bridge. As one of the state’s largest infrastructure projects, the $167 million project is funded by the Governor’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan. The landmark bridge, built just after World War II, will be upgraded with a new, modern design that improves safety, regional mobility, and quality of life, while positioning the area for long-term economic opportunity.
“Investments like the rehabilitation of the McClugage Bridge, which was first built in World War II and carries about 20,000 east-bound vehicles a day, will not only support freight routes on Illinois’ roadways, but make day-to-day life easier for Peoria and East Peoria families who use this bridge to get groceries, see their doctor or visit the pharmacy,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With a new deck bridge that will nearly double its width, the new structure will not only be safer, smoother, and faster at larger capacity, but we’re adding a protected bike and pedestrian path – so this beautiful crossing point over the Illinois River will be all the more accessible.”
The McClugage Bridge project started in 2019, rebuilding the existing bridge that opened in 1948 and today carries roughly 20,000 eastbound vehicles a day on U.S. 150 over the Illinois River. Incorporating a tied-arch design, the new bridge will include a third lane to better accommodate current volumes and anticipated growth in the region, with improved ramps at Illinois 29 and 116 to eliminate frequent stopping and facilitate smoother traffic flow.
The four-year project is expected to be completed in 2023 and will feature wider shoulders for vehicle breakdowns and first responders. A path will also be available for pedestrians and bicyclists with a river overlook, with trailheads added on both sides of the bridge.
“The eastbound McClugage Bridge is one of state’s signature bridges and a major cog in the economy of the Peoria area, but it’s long overdue for replacement,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Bridges connect communities, get you to a job and keep you and your family safe. Under Gov. Pritzker’s leadership, IDOT is delivering historic improvements all over the state just like the McClugage Bridge project.”
Working on the project are graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program, an IDOT-initiative partnering with Illinois Central College in Peoria to provide minority and female students the opportunity to get on-the-job experience toward full-time work and a career in the construction trades.
As part of IDOT’s current six-year improvement program for roads and bridges, $54.8 million is identified for a new deck and repairs on the westbound McClugage Bridge, a project that will begin after the eastbound structure is complete.
Various other road and bridge improvements in the Peoria area are made possible by Rebuild Illinois, representing an additional $252 million investment in the region.
Ongoing work includes Interstate 474 resurfacing from the Illinois River to Interstate 74 at $20.9 million, I-74 patching and resurfacing from east of Illinois 78 to west of Kickapoo/Edwards at $16 million, Western Avenue reconstruction from Adams Street to Lincoln Avenue at $12.6 million, I-74 patching and resurfacing west of Kickapoo Edwards Road to just east of I-474 at $10.9 million, and Pinecrest Drive over I-74 bridge replacement at $9.6 million. Among the completed projects are the $42 million upgrade of the Murray Baker Bridge and the $10 million replacement of the Farmington Road Bridge over Kickapoo Creek.
“Rebuild Illinois is continuing to strengthen our infrastructure throughout Illinois and here in Peoria,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “The investments made to the McClugage Bridge Project will provide better safer, smoother, and more accessible transportation for all members of our community.”
“For more than seven decades, the McClugage Bridge has served a vital role for thousands of eastbound motorists who use the bridge to make their daily commute across the Illinois River,” said State Senator Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills). “Once finished, the new McClugage Bridge will improve safety, accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists, commute times for motorists and overall commerce for the Peoria Metro Area.”
For local governments in the Peoria area, the Governor’s Rebuild Illinois plan has added $9.2 million in motor fuel tax revenues to advance projects in Peoria County and $7.5 million in Tazewell County. Also, local governments have received $12.2 million in Peoria County and $10 million in Tazewell County as part of $1.5 billion earmarked for municipal, township, and county upgrades. These Rebuild Illinois projects have helped with road and bridge improvements, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers, sidewalk replacements and other long-term maintenance needs statewide.
“This bridge is a vital link between Peoria and the communities of East Peoria, Washington, Germantown Hills and beyond, with over 20,000 vehicles crossing this bridge each way, every day,” said Peoria Mayor Rita Ali. “Infrastructure projects like this are vital to the continued economic growth of our region. I am very pleased that the State of Illinois is investing so much in Peoria and the surrounding communities.”
Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing $33.2 billion into the state’s aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history but also the first one that touches all modes of Illinois transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
Through year two of Rebuild Illinois, IDOT has made approximately $5.2 billion in improvements to more than 3,000 miles of highway and almost 300 bridges, as well as almost 450 additional safety improvements.
For more information about the McClugage Bridge improvement project, visit www.mcclugagebridge.com.