Posts Tagged ‘river bridge’

For the second straight weekend crews will be out closing the right lane westbound at the river bridge.  The closures will begin at 9 this morning and last until the wee hours of early Monday morning.

In short, expect long delays especially during the day on Friday – potentially up to 60 minutes. These were taken last weekend just to jog the memory:

With any construction zone, reduced speed limits and an increased ISP presence is expected. There was a reason why this got shared last night:


Crews will be out this morning almost as soon as the morning peak ends on the westbound lanes, and the right lane will not reopen until the morning peak on Monday.

Expect delays for Friday, especially in the evening peak hour where westbound traffic could back up all the way to 255. Since the westbound lanes are actually in poor shape (complete with that steel plate near the Riverview ramp), the consequences of the crews missing that 5 AM Monday morning deadline can be severe.

Heavier than normal state police enforcement can be expected this weekend, due to the reduced speed limits and because this was posted yesterday:


Apparently the planned roadwork on Tuesday on the westbound lanes did not go to plan.  Around 15:00 crews were reportedly in the process of picking up the restrictions with the evening peak starting.  (I had to get ready to go to work.)  By the time 18:30 break at work came around there was at least one private message mentioning a lot of flat tires, the crews were westbound just west of Riverview dealing with flat tires, and then road crews were back at it on an emergency basis until very late that night.


Image taken from one of the admins is of a notorious problem spot westbound taken in March 2016.  This area is now sporting a steel plate according to our followers.

The potholes have really popped following a run of very cold temperatures earlier this month that was followed up with a nasty freeze-thaw pattern.  The freeze thaw pattern isn’t going away anytime soon and the very recent January thaw lured out the road crews in a big way.  Last week they did westbound lane closures with virtually last minute notice, so we apologize for not getting that message out there.  They did more work on Tuesday which didn’t go to plan.  Now they are turning their focus eastbound:


While the condition of the deck in the eastbound lanes is not as bad as the westbound, there has been at least two spots with potholes in the past few months because I recalled hitting one of them at full speed while heading home from work when I was at my former employer.

The admins do not have recent photos of the alleged potholes. I have not made regular use since I changed employers in October and the other admins don’t take photos unless its an emergency.

The recent January thaw after what was a bitterly cold few weeks may have lured road crews to get a jump on the repairs and as a result late last week IDOT announced at the last minute of lane restrictions on the westbound lanes. More repairs are coming later this morning starting at 09:00 and going to 15:00 for the westbound lanes on the river bridge.

NOTE:  Probably should had this one posted last week but Mother Nature had other ideas and the questionable weather clearly took an priority.  It also does not help when two of the admins work the evening shift and making posts at 3 in the morning is not a desired time window.

IDOT announced last week that the afternoon of January 17, an open house will be held at SWIC Granite City off Maryville Road near Route 203.  The time will go from 16:00 to 19:00 and it is time to let them hear it as it is.


In the wee hours of Monday morning when the admins posted the fog risk threat for this week, there was more than enough factors in play to put Thursday morning at HIGH risk:  calm winds, a warm day, cool night, and most importantly temperatures expected to be near the freezing point.  After one of the admins got off work early Thursday morning around 02:00 – the fears were confirmed and by 04:30 the live feed cameras were only confirming what could been happening:

As the morning lows dipped to 28 in Alton the admins made at least two posts on Facebook warning that river fog was present with the freezing temperatures and extreme caution was to be taken.  If that was not enough, Laura Hettiger was running her mouth at least two times during the 05:00 hour on Channel 4 to be aware of the fog threat.  One of the admins went to bed before 06:00 and the other was on the way to work after 05:30 there was not a lot of monitoring on either the Facebook or Twitter accounts.

At or around 06:50, the first of the multiple incidents that happened in a 20 to 25 minute time window happened westbound west of 367 and a second happened eastbound between Lilac and Riverview:

Within 10 minutes this was being reported:

By the way, even around 06:45 there was still river fog in the area of the river bridge by a TV reporter that was making a trip across while en route to an unrelated story:

It was clear that the freezing river fog caused a few slick spots during the AM crunch time and as soon one happened, all shit broke loose.

The river bridge one was in a bad spot too causing crews from Mitchell Fire Department to walk to the scene to get to the people. Luckily only minor injuries were reported in this ordeal.

There were some live videos as well

In the end, the westbound lanes at the bridge were closed for over an hour and it takes at least 90 minutes before things return to normal. The average delay was at least 60 to 90 minutes.  This morning should reinforce why river fog under certain circumstances can lead to the big incidents and all three incidents were consistent with people allegedly driving too fast for the conditions.  In fact, we are approaching the 40th anniversary of one of the first epic fails that happened on this section of 270 and it happened on a morning with freezing temperatures and conditions favorable for river fog.  What happened this morning was minor compared to what happened on the morning of November 12, 1977, and back in the late 1970s there was not much of a morning news scene, no internet, no social media, and everyone relied on the evening newspaper to get their gossip and CB radio for traffic conditions.

Weather permitting, off-peak lane closures on the river bridge will occur from 09:00 to 15:00 daily from 9/18 to 9/21, as IDOT crews are expected to do more patching.  While delays are expected as soon as you cross the canal bridge, do not be surprised to see delays stretch towards 255.  Expect reduced speed limits, higher police presence enforcing the speed limits, and delays.

Weather permitting, one lane of EB 270 will be closed at the river bridge from 09:00 to 12:00 for IDOT crews to conduct bridge inspections tomorrow. The crews will also be at the Clark Bridge but that will be much later in the day. Expect delays to Lilac.

This comes on the heels of last week unannounced EB 270 lane closure that lasted most of the off peak period.

The following day the evening peak period saw a lot of crews near the canal bridge – while the alleged incident was westbound the outcome was very tragic. Not knowing all the details and respecting privacy the admins are not going into the details.  Prayers are with the family at the time.

The rough week was topped off with an peak hour incident on Friday morning on the westbound lanes west of Riverview that took 40 minutes to clear.

IDOT has announced off-peak lane closures for westbound 270 at the river bridge on various dates in the next week from 09:00 to 15:00, weather permitting.

The patches that had failed or about to fail.

The bottom line is to expect delays starting at the canal bridge and a reduced speed limit that will be enforced by the ISP.

Weather permitting, off peak daytime lane restrictions will happen on the river bridge from June 5 through June 8.

For Monday and Tuesday, one westbound lane will close from 09:00 to 15:00. Expect delays to begin near the Route 3 exit.

For Wednesday and Thursday, one eastbound lane will close from 08:00 to 15:00. Expect delays to begin near the Lilac exit.

Expect reduced speed limits on this section of 270 – and expect them to be enforced. Speaking of speed limits, we know this section is enforced on a regular basis as is:

This week is also the week where the DOT is conducting their annual safety check so truckers must take extra precautions and additional delays east of Route 3 may be encountered.