Crooked Creek Bridge Construction
Illinois Highway 161 will be closed at Crooked Creek bridge from January 2, 2019, to December 1, 2019.
January 2, 2019 - Bridge will be closed for preparation, demolition, and then new bridge construction.
July 2019 - Intersection of Shattuc Road and Highway 161 will be closed for 14 days.
August 2019 - Intersection of Noltings Road and Highway 161 will be closed for 120 days.
December 1, 2019 - Bridge construction completion date. Road reopened.
Do not use your cell phone while driving and especially not in construction zones.
Watch out for detour signs and traffic stops.
Be careful on side roads where the speed limit may not be posted.
County and township roads may have steep drainage ditches and sharp turns.
Farm and construction equipment may go slower than anticipated.
It is best to follow the detour signs. Some alternate routes are not connected for through traffic.
Illinois Highway 161 Detour
Coming from the East, the road will be closed past Noltings Road. (Noltings Road will be accessible until August 2019.)
Coming from the West, the road will be closed past Shattuc Road. (Shattuc Road will be closed for 14 days in July 2019.)
Background of Chamber of Commerce Involvement
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) approved an extensive $21 million construction project to replace and improve the Crooked Creek Bridge west of Centralia. The original project was to completely close Highway 161 between Shattuc Road and Noltings Road for 18 months.
In early 2018, the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce received 457 signatures on a petition for a better resolution than closing Highway 161 completely for 18 months.
April 2018, there was an informational meeting with IDOT at Centralia City Hall. We discussed the project stages, proposed alternate routes, expediting construction times, and the concerns from the individuals and businesses impacted by the proposed project. May 2018, there was another meeting at IDOT District 8. They announced a new plan for an 11 month project beginning in early 2019.
December 18, 2018, Plocher Construction was awarded to complete this project by IDOT. At this meeting, the timeline of the project was announced with the road closure beginning January 2, 2019. This meeting was attended by IDOT, Plocher Construction, 10 utility companies, City of Centralia, Brookside Township, Clinton County, and The Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce.
More information on the IDOT IL Route 161 over Crooked Creek improvement project official site: http://www.idot.illinois.gov/projects/il-161-crooked-creek
Why does the bridge need replaced? The existing structure is 80 years old and is beyond regular maintenance.
Why is the new bridge going to be so tall? The new elevation of the bridge meets industry standards for the “100 year flood” (1% probability of highest flood occurring in any given year). The new bridge will be 7 feet taller than the current structure and the intersections of Shattuc Road and Noltings Road will be 3 feet higher than current elevation. Even if the water does not crest over the bridge consistently, water touching the steel and concrete structure of the bridge will deteriorate it quickly. Flood waters can be deadly and have been fatal at the current height.
Could a temporary bridge be built? Could the bridge been completed one lane at a time? To keep traffic flowing along Highway 161, every option was looked at. There were several factors that did not allow solutions. These factors are including but not limited to: wetlands/flood area surrounding the construction zones; IDOT jurisdiction on county roads; state and local budget; standards of elevation for new structure; and expediting this project to be completed as quick as possible.
What are the concerns of this project? There is great concern for the safety of drivers and emergency services; therefore, municipalities and organizations are working together to communicate as best as possible about this project. There is also a concern of economic impact, so the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce and local businesses are working together to provide services on both sides of this project (west and east of the construction zones).
What is the good news? The Centralia region is improving. There are new stores, restaurants, and businesses planning to open! Organizations and individuals are championing a better quality of life in our community. Plus, having a brand new beautiful bridge to welcome travelers and commuters on the west side of Centralia will be awesome!
The Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce is committed to working with IDOT and surrounding municipalities to continue to communicate for the progress of this project.
Information on this page will be updated periodically.
The mission of the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce is to be a recognized leader for our members and community and to stimulate a healthy business climate through programs and services that strengthen our community as well as directly benefit our members and enhance their business success.