Washington Street bridge through downtown Naperville will be reduced to one lane in each direction this week because increased deterioration found during a September inspection by the state.
The city had been planning to reduce traffic to a single north and southbound lane so the span can be rebuilt but now must do so earlier than anticipated.
One-lane traffic begins Thursday, with the outside southbound lane and the inside northbound lane closed until further notice.
The bridge, which crosses the DuPage River between Chicago and Aurora avenues, is more than 40 years old and so deteriorated that the city had to restrict the size of vehicles using it to 15 tons in 2016.
The city plans to demolish and reconstruct the east side of the span in 2023, followed by the west side in 2024.
Regular inspections of the bridge started in 2016, with monthly inspections ongoing since January 2019.
City officials said the September inspection showed signs of increased deterioration. Bridge engineers from the Illinois Department of Transportation directed the city to lower the posted weight limit to 8 tons and recommended the lane closures.
The lane closures are being instituted to shift traffic flow away from the effected area of the bridge and to allow the city to prepare for a long-term solution.
To accommodate the lane reductions, Aurora Avenue will be converted into a left-turn-only lane between Webster and Main streets and closed between Main and Washington streets.
The outside southbound lane on Washington Street will be converted into a right-turn-only lane between Jackson and Chicago avenues.
City officials are advising motorists using Washington Street to allow for greater travel time or use alternate routes.
On-street parking on Washington Street will not be impacted.
Naperville secured federal funding from IDOT to replace the bridge through the Federal Bridge Program, which will cover 80% of the cost. The city’s share of the project is about $3.2 million.
For more information about the project, including a map of current lane closures and project updates, visit www.naperville.il.us/dtwashingtonbridge.