Give yourself extra time starting Monday morning, because Illinois Department of Transportation kicks off work to reduce the number of lanes on the MLK bridge and install a concrete barrier.
The work is scheduled to end on October 24th, depending on weather.
At a cost of $1.4 million: crews will install a concrete barrier along the center line to prevent cross-over crashes. Crews will also widen lanes by reducing the number of lanes from four to three.
There will be three, 12 foot lanes, across the MLK bridge. (The lanes are currently 10 feet wide). Two lanes will carry east bound traffic. One lane will be left to handle west bound traffic.
Along with that work, crews will construct a waterproof membrane over the surface and install a new guard rail.
MODOT also issued a warning about traffic as the construction begins, saying that on days with no inclement weather or accidents, commuters can expect west-bound morning backups to reach Exchange Avenue (along I-55/70) and 15th Street on I-64 at the peak hour of 8 a.m.
In the afternoon, the temporary closure of the MLK brige could cause eastbound backups to Tucker on Highway 40, Jefferson on I-44, and Broadway on I-55.
IDOT says: Traffic control devices, including permanent and mobile electronic message boards, will be utilized to assist motorists making their way through the work zone. Motorists are asked to use alternative routes such as the Poplar Street Bridge or the Eads Bridge and to allow additional time to travel through the area. Motorists are also urged to be patient, reduce speed, and use caution when traveling through the area as traffic patterns and travel times will likely be affected.