Downtown Washington Street Bridge Replacement Project
This project includes the replacement of the Washington Street bridge due to its deteriorating condition as well as improvements to the intersection of Aurora Avenue and Washington Street.
Project Information (Updated Oct. 4, 2022)
In response to a recent inspection, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has recommended a new 8-ton weight limit and lane closures over the Washington Street Bridge. Beginning Thursday, Oct. 6, the outside southbound lane and the inside northbound lane will be closed to reduce traffic to one lane in each direction over the bridge. In addition, the inside eastbound lane on Aurora Avenue between Main and Washington streets will be closed, the inside eastbound lane between Webster and Main streets will be converted into a left-turn-only lane, and the outside southbound lane on Washington Street between Jackson and Chicago avenues will be converted into a right-turn-only lane. Through traffic on Washington Street will need to allow for greater travel time or use alternate routes. Closures will remain in place until further notice.
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The bridge, which crosses the DuPage River between Chicago and Aurora Avenues, is more than 40 years old and is in need of replacement due to its deteriorating condition. Preparations to replace the bridge have been ongoing for several years. A 15-ton weight limit was imposed in 2016 to reduce damage from heavy loads. Regular inspections of the bridge have been in place since 2016 and monthly inspections of the bridge have been ongoing since January 2019.
The most recent inspection in September showed signs of increased deterioration. After consultation with bridge engineers from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the City was directed to lower the posted weight limit from 15 tons to 8 tons and close the outside southbound lane and the inside northbound lane. The lane closures will shift traffic flow away from the affected area of the bridge and allow the City to prepare for a long-term solution. On-street parking on Washington Street will not be impacted.
A complete replacement of the bridge is tentatively scheduled to begin in spring of 2023. The City has secured federal funding from IDOT to perform the project through the Federal Bridge Program, which will cover 80 percent of the cost.
- Project Background
Washington Street is an important thoroughfare through downtown Naperville. It is the only north‐south route in the City that crosses both the BNSF railway tracks and the West Branch of the DuPage River. Being such a vital corridor, Washington Street sees a considerable amount of traffic. In addition to vehicular traffic, Washington Street is host to a variety of small businesses and recreational areas including Fredenhagen Park and the Naperville Riverwalk.
At the center of downtown Naperville is the Washington Street bridge. Tens of thousands of vehicles traverse this bridge every single day. The structure, which is located between Aurora Avenue and Chicago Avenue, is more than 40 years old and it is in need of replacement due to its deteriorated condition. To extend its life span, the bridge has been load posted to restrict the size of vehicle that can use the bridge. The bridge is still adequate for passenger vehicles.
The purpose of this project is to replace the Washington Street bridge. Replacing the structure provides an opportunity to look at several components of the bridge and surrounding area, including the roadway segments that approach the bridge. Washington Street from Aurora Avenue to Chicago Avenue will be studied to determine the best future configuration of the area.
- Public Input
Input from the community is very important to make this project successful. The City hosted a first public meeting on February 9, 2017 and a second public meeting on September 20, 2017. Both meetings were well attended and very useful input was provided by public comments.