Champaign County - I-57/I-74 Reconstruction Project

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Interstate 57/74 Interchange Reconstruction

The current cloverleaf interchange will be entirely replaced with the construction of 11 new bridge structures, including two flyover structures in the middle of the interchange as shown in this project conceptual rendering

Project Overview

I-57/74 Interchange Rehabilitation Project Flyer

The I-57/74 interchange located just west of Champaign was designed in 1958 and built in 1965. It’s outdated design no longer meets current traffic volumes and demands and has experienced operational issues due to deficient geometric features.

This multi-year rehabilitation project is a culmination of four related projects to rebuild a critical regional freight juncture serving almost 40,000 vehicles per day with nearly 25% being freight trucks.

The new modern design for the interchange will include two flyover ramps to improve safety and traffic flow efficiency for travelers in the region: Eastbound I-74 to northbound I-57 and westbound I-74 to southbound I-57. A third, auxiliary lane will also be added to both directions of I-74 between Prospect and Duncan Roads.

Other improvements include:

  • Restoring green spaces with native grass to cut down on future planting
  • Adding LED lighting for improved visibility and efficiency
  • Metalizing the structural steel to minimize future painting

Upon anticipated completion in 2025, the new interchange will eliminate the merging, weaving and slower speeds of the existing structure resulting in improved travel times and fewer conflict points between vehicles.

Project Cost:
The total I-57/74 interchange investment including ramp and interstate reconstruction will be an estimated $216.8 million. This project is made possible by Gov. Pritzker's historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program.

Four Related Interchange Reconstruction Projects

PROJECT 1 (Preliminary): Mattis Avenue Bridge Replacements Over I-57/74

  • The project started Summer 2020 and completed the week of August 9.
  • COST: $21.1 MILLION

PROJECT 2 (Preliminary): U.S. 150 Bridge Replacement Over I-57

  • The project started Summer 2020 and completed the week of September 9.
  • COST: $8.4 MILLION

PROJECT 3 (Current): I-57/74 Ramp Reconstruction

  • The project broke ground August 23, 2021 with anticipated completion in 2023.
  • COST:  $125.8 MILLION

PROJECT 4 (Upcoming):  I-57/74 Interstate Pavement Reconstruction

  • This project is scheduled to start in 2022 with anticipated completion in 2025.
  • COST: $91 MILLION (estimated)

Resources

Phase 1 Study

The “cloverleaf” type interchange which connects Interstate 57 and Interstate 74 in Champaign County, originally designed in 1958 and constructed in 1965, was experiencing safety and traffic operational issues due to deficient geometric features. I-57 is a four-lane Class I truck route carrying an average of 33,600 vehicles per day of which 9,400 are trucks. I-74 is also a four-lane Class I truck route carrying and average of 38,400 vehicles per day of which 8,500 are trucks.

A Phase I design study of the interchange, funded in 2012 by the Illinois Jobs Now program, was completed by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The study began in May 2012 and was completed in October 2015 and complies with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The study documents the need for the improvement, proposes and evaluates several design alternatives that account for future transportation needs, and culminates in a single recommended design. The recommended design provides safer and more efficient transportation at the interchange by eliminating deficient geometric features and increasing traffic capacity. Evaluation criteria used to determine the recommended design include:

  • Roadway Safety Performance
  • Roadway Operational, Geometric, and Capacity Characteristics
  • Environmental and Social Impacts
  • Economics
  • Public Input

IDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are the lead agencies in the planning process and have used these criteria to make the final decision on the recommended design. The Phase I design study was completed and Phase II followed, which included plan preparation, land acquisition, utility relocation, and environmental mitigation.

Phase III, the construction phase, consists of several construction seasons for a large project like this. Phase III of the I-57/I-74 interchange reconstruction project has been funded through Rebuild Illinois.

FAQ'S

What is the purpose of these related projects?

The recently completed Mattis and U.S. 150 over I-57 bridges were in advanced stages of deterioration and due for replacement. They were both lengthened to accommodate new ramps that will run underneath them for the I-57/I-74 interchange reconstruction allowing a better designed interchange to be built based on a Phase I design study conducted in 2012-2015 that included public input. (See Phase I Study section for more information .)

What are the biggest benefits to the project?

This critical regional freight juncture services 40,000 daily vehicles in central Illinois offering many economic benefits to the region. I-74 is a four-lane Class I truck route carrying an average of 38,400 vehicles per day of which 8,500 are trucks.

Rebuilding this outdated cloverleaf interchange originally designed in 1958 and constructed in 1965, with a modern design will improve traffic flow, efficiency and safety by eliminating conflict points and reducing turning movements.

A third, auxiliary lane also will be added to both directions of I-74 between Prospect Avenue and Duncan Road. Some green spaces will be restored with native grass to cut down on future planting. Other improvements include LED lighting and metalizing the structural steel to minimize future painting.

What is the current traffic volume?

The Average Daily Traffic for each route is as follows:

I-57 – (south of 74) – 36,100

I-57 – (North of 74) – 23,000

I-74 – (under Mattis Ave) – 41,400

Mattis Ave (over I-74) – 16,100

Mattis Ave (over I-57) – 5,800

US 150 – 7,400

How much does the overall project cost?

The total investment in the interchange reconstruction was made possible by Gov. Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program.

Contract 70B38 (Mattis) - $20,849,839

Contract 70B98 (US 150) - $8,367,378

I-57/I/74 interchange reconstruction total investment is $216.8 million

Interchange ramp reconstruction - $125,800,000

I-57/I/74 interchange pavement reconstruction - $91,000,000 estimated

For more information about funding, see:

Rebuild Illinois Fact Sheet

Champaign-Urbana Area Projects Fact Sheet

What is the estimated finish time?

  • Mattis Avenue over I-57 and I-74 started June 2020 and completed August 2021
  • U.S. 150 over I-57 started July 2020 and completed September 2021
  • I-57/I/74 interchange ramp reconstruction started August 2021 with scheduled completion end of 2023
  • I-57/I/74 interchange pavement reconstruction is scheduled to start in spring 2022 with estimated completion in 2025.

Are there any closures planned for this project?

Periodic nighttime closures of the interstates will be needed. (9 pm to 6 am, Sunday through Thursday), and a detour will be setup during those times. All other times, at least one lane will remain open to traffic.

Current interchange ramps will be closed for long durations (1 week to 24 months depending on the ramp) and permanent detours will be setup to detour traffic to alternate routes.

Are there any major milestones over the course of the project?

Major milestones include:

  • Interchange Type Study (7 Interchange types studied) – Approved 09/16/2014
  • Value Engineering Study – Approved 01/12/2015
  • Environmental Assessment – Approved 04/23/2015
  • Interchange Design Study (Detailed design of selected interchange type) – Approved 02/17/2015
  • Final Phase I Report Approval – 10/16/2015
  • Completion of the Mattis Bridge Avenue over I-57/74 in August 2021
  • Completion of the U.S. 150 over I-57 Bridge in September 2021
  • Breaking ground on the start of the new I-57/74 Interchange Ramp construction in late August 2021

More to come!

How will the project affect my regular commute?

Through lanes will be open during daytime hours at all times. Various ramps will be closed for extended durations with posted detours.

What impact will this have on the public transit system?

This project should have little to no impact on mass transit as traffic lanes will always be open during daytime running hours.

Will school bus routes be affected?

No.

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