JOLIET – It’s time to get back to work on the bridges in downtown Joliet.
The state will do repairs on the Ruby Street bridge Thursday and Friday ahead of next week’s shutdown of the Cass Street bridge.
On Wednesday, the Jackson Street bridge was out of service for most of the day, but not because of bridge work. The bridge was up because of street work that required cutting into a section of Jackson Street just east of the bridge.
Motorists have enjoyed more than three weeks of relatively unimpeded crossings over the Des Plaines River in and out of downtown since the paint job on the Jefferson Street bridge deck was completed June 17.
That ended Wednesday when the Jackson Street bridge was lifted for most of the work day. The bridge was back in service about 3:30 p.m.
A ComEd contractor was doing work on the utility manhole at the Joliet Street intersection, which would have blocked any traffic coming over the bridge. The job was completed Wednesday.
Joliet Public Works Director James Trizna said the city advised ComEd to get the work done before next week’s closing of the Cass Street bridge.
“We said do it now before the 18th. That’s when they close Cass Street,” Trizna said.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has some work to do on the Ruby Street bridge before it gets to Cass Street.
Motorists might want to look for alternative routes for the next two days as IDOT does both bridge repairs and road work just west of the Ruby Street bridge.
Traffic has been slowed by a road resurfacing project that started this week between the bridge and Broadway Street, a section of Ruby Street that also is Illinois 53 and maintained by the state. That work should be completed by the end of the week depending on the weather, said IDOT spokeswoman Gianna Urgo.
Meanwhile, there will be lane closures on the Ruby Street bridge for repairs that start Thursday and are expected to end Friday, depending on the weather. The bridge will remain open as workers repair the steel-grid deck.
Repainting of the Cass Street bridge is scheduled to start Monday.
The project, which will last into the fall, has been scheduled for months and is similar to the paint job completed on the Jefferson Street bridge. The bridge will only be painted at deck level and below.
The Cass Street project originally had been scheduled to start July 5 but was delayed.
DOWNTOWN BRIDGE ALERT
• Ruby Street: Bridge will remain open but some lanes will be closed during repairs slated to end Friday. Ruby Street roadwork just west of the bridge will add to traffic congestion.
• Cass Street: Bridge closes Monday for deck repainting scheduled to run into the fall.
• Jackson Street: All clear now, but bridge was closed much of Wednesday for street work just east of bridge.