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The Bob Michel Bridge project advances in Peoria

In 2020 IDOT partnered with the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a Phase I engineering study to complete improvements for Illinois Route 40’s Bob Michel Bridge in Peoria. The 28-year-old structure that carries Illinois Route 40 over the Illinois River in Peoria as due for a deck rehabilitation. The timing was right to explore improving pedestrian and bicycle accommodations as well. 

This past Dec. 9, close to 50 people attended a public meeting at East Peoria’s City Hall to learn more and provide feedback about the preferred alternative.

The .5-mile-long bridge is one of six bridges spanning the Illinois River in the Peoria vicinity, carrying 17,000 vehicles per day.  In recent years, development at the East Peoria Levee District and downtown Peoria’s Warehouse District has made this the crossing even more important for people walking and biking.

Currently, the bridge has a 5-foot wide outside shoulder adjacent to a 5-foot wide, 6-inch elevated sidewalk on each side. The new design, as proposed, will remove the sidewalks, reduce the outside shoulder to 3.5 feet wide and consolidate the bike and pedestrian path to the north side. This reconfiguration will result in a 14-foot multi-use path.  In addition, a concrete barrier wall will be added between cars and the path to make it safer for all who share the bridge.

Upon completion of this study, Phase II engineering to develop construction designs may begin in early 2022. The $19 million construction project, funded by Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program, would close the bridge for about a year to reduce the overall timeframe for construction. Pedestrian and bicyclist access would be maintained throughout construction. . To learn more, visit www.bobmichelbridge.com.