GRANITE CITY – Governor JB Pritzker joined the departments of transportation in Illinois and Missouri to celebrate the start of construction on the new Interstate 270 Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River, part of a combined $531.6 million investment to improve one of the country’s critical freight corridors. The project, made possible by Gov. Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program, will improve safety and mobility while creating good-paying jobs in an area experiencing strong industrial and commercial growth.
“This isn’t just an investment for the Metro East region — it’s an investment for our entire nation. This major freight corridor connects our ports and railways — essential to maintaining a steady supply chain for Illinoisans, Missourians, and all Americans alike,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Up and down the Metro East region, we’re restoring and rebuilding, creating good-paying jobs, and making sure working families have the opportunities and resources they need to build good lives for themselves.”
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“The I-270 Chain of Rocks Bridge is transformative. We are witnessing how our investments in infrastructure are helping our communities provide commercial and transportation support while keeping us all connected,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “This bridge is a vital transportation asset between Metro East and greater St. Louis region, and as the Chair of the Rivers of Illinois Coordinating Council, I am proud to be here today and see what can happen when we work together as one. This new development is an indicator that Illinois is working towards the future of all of our residents while putting our region at the forefront in transportation.”
The I-270 loop connects many of the region’s warehouses and distribution parks, ports, airports, and rail yards on both sides of the Mississippi River. Nearly 70% of the region’s industrial tenants occupying large warehouse space in excess of 500,000 square feet are within ten minutes of the interstate.
Built in 1966, the existing bridge over the river is two lanes in each direction with narrow, one-foot shoulders that pose safety concerns for vehicle breakdowns and first responders. The bridge accommodates 51,000 vehicles a day, about 20% of which are trucks, and the structure requires frequent maintenance and repairs due to its age.
A $496.2 million joint IDOT-MoDOT project will replace the bridge with two structures that have wider shoulders that can accommodate the eventual expansion of I-270 to three lanes in each direction. A companion $35.4 million Missouri Department of Transportation project will reconstruct the Riverview Drive interchange just west of the bridge.
“The I-270 Chain of Rocks bridge represents the great partnership between Missouri and Illinois investing in this vital freight corridor connecting I-270 to I-70,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson. “Along with the bridge, Missouri is transforming I-270 as well as making historic improvements to I-70 across the entire state. Infrastructure has remained a top priority for us since the very beginning. We’ve come a long way in Missouri, and as witnessed with this project and countless others, we are not done yet.”
Construction started last winter and is anticipated to wrap up in 2026. Additional information can be found by visiting the project website at www.270mrb.com.
“It’s incredibly important we maintain and improve our state’s infrastructure. The Chain of Rocks Bridge plays a critical role in connecting those coming to and from the Metro East and Greater St. Louis Area,” said Senator Erica Harriss (R-Glen Carbon). “As traffic counts have more than doubled since the construction of the current bridges, there is a critical need to replace the bridges and improve the overall safety for both passenger and commercial traffic.”
“Thanks to Gov. Pritzker’s vision and the support of the General Assembly in passing Rebuild Illinois, transformational projects are completed or underway in every part of the state,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “The I-270 project is extra special because of the partnership with Missouri to work together to improve safety, commerce and quality of life for an entire region.”
Both Missouri and Illinois continue to coordinate on long-term plans to improve capacity and increase reliability of I-270 by adding a third lane in each direction, extending as far east as Illinois 157. In IDOT’s current multiyear improvement program, $75 million is identified courtesy of Rebuild Illinois for an additional lane between the river and just east of St. Thomas Road, a project that includes the reconstruction of the Illinois 3 interchange.
Rebuild Illinois (RBI) is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state’s aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. RBI is not only the largest capital program in state history, but also the first that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
Accomplishments through March include approximately $7.3 billion of improvements statewide on almost 3,800 miles of highway, more than 370 bridges and nearly 550 additional safety improvements. Visit https://idot.click/Rebuild-Illinois for information and highlights on other RBI projects happening throughout the state.
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