Illinois' I-280 Majestically Re-Decked in $65.7 Million Overhaul with Pritzker's Pride

Illinois' I-280 Majestically Re-Decked in $65.7 Million Overhaul with Pritzker's PrideSource: Google Street View
Damon R. Sheffield
Published on November 29, 2023

Governor JB Pritzker, alongside the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and various community hotshots, triumphantly marked the completion of the new deck on the I-280. Mississippi River Bridge. This makeover paves the way for a more grin-inducing, accident-dodging experience on one of Illinois’ primary arteries. Pritzker's pet project, the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois program—and let's not forget a helping hand from those across the river in Iowa—pumped a hefty $65.7 million into this infrastructure facelift.

"This is exactly what Rebuild Illinois, our state's massive infrastructure modernization program, is all about to make life better and easier for our people," beamed Pritzker. With an eagle’s eye on improving the roads our families and businesses bank on, the GUV’s aiming to forge a future where peace of mind on the commute and a magnet for factory and distribution center big shots wanting a piece of the Illinois pie are the norm. The fresh decks on the bridge, a first since they first greeted cars in 1973, were part of a $49.7 million grand project that kicked off in 2021 with the westbound bridge deck and the eastbound acting as the sequel in 2022, "said Governor JB Pritzker," according to Illinois.gov.

Roll up the I-280 starting from the bridge to the Illinois 92 interchange, and you’ll see where the remaining millions went—a cool $16 million to be exact, extending east of the Milan Beltway; fancy bridge paint and light shows at Illinois 92 being the icing on the cake. Now, throw into the mix a generous helping of $18.9 million from the Iowa Department of Transportation for the bridge touch-ups, and you've got a cross-state handshake that’s solidifying more than just concrete and steel.

Crossing the economic powerhouse that is the Mississippi River, the pick-me-up for over 6.5 miles of I-280 sands down the edges of Coal Valley, Moline, Milan, and Rock Island, whilst giving a nod to the Quad City International Airport and its truckload of nearly $650 million in annual economic boom and support for 4,400 jobs—an IDOT stat with muscle. "These investments in I-280 will extend the life of another critical border bridge and strengthen the robust multimodal infrastructure system in the Quad Cities," shared Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman with the pride only an infrastructure boss can have, as stated on Illinois.gov.

From the political stands, State Sen. Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island) tipped his hat to the deep-pocketed leaders and the hard-hatted heroes, "I am grateful for the leaders that prioritized this funding and helped make this bridge a reality. But I want to offer a special 'thank you' to the skilled tradesmen and women who built this bridge from the riverbed up. We are lucky to have an amazing workforce in Illinois and we are a better state because of it." Tie it altogether with State Rep. Gregg Johnson (D-East Moline) looping back to the essence of community, "We call it the Quad Cities for a reason: every town on both sides of the river needs one another to thrive." Bringing up the rear, the mayors of Rock Island and Moline join the chorus, singing praises for the project’s impact on jobs, safety, and economic growth.

Not just an isolated win, the I-280 repairs are strutting alongside other Rebuild Illinois showboaters, like the $7 million waltz on Illinois 5 (John Deere Road) in Moline and the $1.3 million cha-cha on Illinois 92. All told, Rebuild Illinois has danced to the tune of $33.2 billion across six years, shuffling through every transportation mode there is.