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Illinois 17 Lacon Bridge Rehabilitation Project


The Lacon Bridge, which carries almost 7,000 daily vehicles on Illinois 17 over the Illinois River in Marshall County, connects Sparland and Lacon. Built in 1939, the bridge is one of the oldest crossings over the Illinois River and due for major scheduled maintenance and rehabilitation.

The 1,573-foot long, 29-foot-wide structure is a steel continuous through-truss bridge, which last received an upgrade in 1990, including superstructure replacement beams at the approach spans, floor beams at the main span and a new bridge deck. 

Construction is scheduled to break ground in March 2023. The improvements will extend the lifespan of the bridge, address inefficiencies, enhance performance with a smoother surface to provide a more comfortable ride and maintain the safety of the corridor for the traveling public for many years to come.

The project includes steel repair, bearing rehabilitation, joint replacement, bridge deck overlay, roadway and navigational lighting updates, drainage improvements, painting, and other related work.

The $10 million project was made possible by Gov. JB Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program. Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 2,500 miles of highway and nearly 10 million square feet of bridge deck as part of Rebuild Illinois, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation. Accomplishments through Year Three of Rebuild Illinois include approximately $8.6 billion of improvements statewide on 4,422 miles of highway, 412 bridges, and 621 additional safety improvements.

The bridge will be completely closed to all traffic for about eight months starting March 18 through November 2023, weather permitting. During the closure, the boat ramp and dock access to the Lacon Marina will remain open. The bridge closure is necessary due to the type of work being performed on the structure and its narrow width, which does not allow room for staging. Safety is always IDOT’s top priority. To ensure this, the closure is necessary for:

  • Replacement of all bridge joints requires complete removal of portions of the bridge deck riding surface
  • Structural steel repairs that will require all traffic to be removed from the structure while the work is being performed
  • Bridge deck microsilica concrete overlay that will be paved over the full width of the bridge


The 15.7-mile detour uses Illinois 29, Illinois 18 and Illinois 26 to make the loop from Sparland to Lacon or Lacon to Sparland.

Special Provisions

Environmental accommodations will be made to prevent debris, equipment, tools or any other construction-related materials from falling into the Illinois River. This may result in closing spans, except the main span over the navigation channel, to river traffic at times.


  • Project cost: $10 Million
  • Timeline: 8-month full bridge closure from March-November 2023
  • Pounds of steel:
    • 47,000 lbs. of concrete reinforcement bars
    • 65,000 lbs. of structural steel
  • Cubic yards of concrete:
    • 180 yds3 of concrete repairs
    • 300 yds3 of bridge deck overlay
  • 500 tons of hot mix asphalt
  • 1,900 feet of conduit
  • 5,700 feet of electrical cable
  • Navigational lighting:
    • 4 of each: Waterway obstruction warning luminaire, LED, 180 degrees red
    • 2 of each: Waterway obstruction warning luminaire, LED, 180 degrees green
    • Roadway Lighting: 10 of each: luminaire, LED, roadway, output designation
  1. With the closing of the Lacon Bridge beginning March 18, 2023, will the Lacon Marina/boat ramp still be open to the public?
    Access to the Lacon Marina’s boat ramp and dock will not be obstructed and remain open throughout the project’s duration.

  2. With the Lacon Bridge detour including the use of the Illinois 18 Henry Bridge, will there be special requirements needed for vehicles carrying larger loads?
  3. What are the traffic impacts on the nearby I-180 Illinois River bridge in Hennepin?
    Bridge painting is occurring and should be completed by mid-summer 2023. The bridge is currently open to one lane in each direction and will remain for the duration of the painting project.

  4. Do you have questions about the upcoming Illinois 18 Henry Bridge Project?
    Please visit the project website at  https://il18riverbridgeproject.com

  5. If you have additional questions or comments, please submit your inquiry HERE.

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For more information on IDOT projects, click here. For IDOT District 4 updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict4 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com and www.gettingaroundpeoria.com.

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