The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) began construction repairs on May 7, 2021 for an emergency replacement of a failed culvert under Stearns School Road between Hutchins Road and Hunt Club Road. Stage 1 of two stages of construction is expected to be complete, and the road is expected to safely reopen to traffic in 3-4 weeks, weather permitting.
LCDOT closed Stearns School Road at Mill Creek just east of Hutchins Road after a culvert was found to be failing on March 25, 2021. A few days following the emergency closure, the pavement collapsed on Stearns School Road.
LCDOT immediately began researching the fastest and most effective way to acquire the materials, develop design plans, secure permits, and stage necessary construction activities. Typically, the design, fabrication and construction would take a number of months to complete, according to LCDOT.
The emergency construction schedule involves a two-staged approach:
Stage 1 (Construction Now): LCDOT has begun the emergency replacement of the failed culvert and pavement. The road is expected to safely reopen to traffic in 3-4 weeks, weather permitting.
Stage 2: The design and permit process for a new single span bridge at the troubled location is also underway. Phase 2 is expected to take between 12 -16 months to complete, with construction beginning in 2022. This will require a road closure in 2022, but it will occur after the Illinois Tollway’s bridge project on Stearns School Road over I-94 is complete. The Stearns School Road bridge over I-94 was closed to thru traffic on Friday, May 7, 2021 by Illinois State Toll Highway Authority workers as part of the Stearns-over-I-94 bridge replacement project, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2021.
The new Stearns Road bridge over I-94, which is currently under construction about 2 miles east of the emergency repair site for the culvert collapse, will feature a wider structure that will accommodate three lanes of vehicle traffic over the Tri-State Tollway (I-94). The bridge will also feature 4-foot-wide shoulders, and paths for pedestrians and bicyclists on both sides.
Traffic on I-94 will temporarily be reduced from four lanes to three lanes the bridge replacement work.
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