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Welcome to the I-270 Chain of Rocks Canal Bridge Project

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is constructing a new bridge over the Chain of Rocks Canal. The project includes levee construction, bridge construction, bridge demolition, pavement removal, Interstate highway construction on a new alignment and partial interchange reconstruction at IL Route 3. Also there will be drainage improvements, construction of sign structures, box culvert construction, and new highway lighting. It should also be noted that this contract has an executed “Project Labor Agreement”.

The project is located at the crossing of Interstate 270 over the Chain of Rocks Canal and over the Chain of Rocks Levee, near Granite City. This $104 million project was on the June 17, 2011 letting. Construction began on October 31, 2011 and the project is estimated to be completed by late summer 2015. In addition, the new bridge is estimated to be opened to traffic by Summer of 2014.

The Chain of Rocks Canal serves as the navigable channel for all Mississippi River barge traffic passing through St. Louis, and I-270 is one of the major St. Louis commuter links between Illinois and Missouri, with an ADT of 54,700 in 2007. The existing twin truss bridges also carry I-270 over the Chain of Rocks Levee which parallels the canal and is owned and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

This site will be updated periodically as the project progresses. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) wishes to thank you for your support and patience.


Construction Progress


86% completed

07-10-14 UPDATE: Project is 86% complete. The westbound lanes of the new bridge are scheduled to be opened to traffic, on Friday July 11th and the eastbound lanes are scheduled to be open at the end of September 2014, weather permitting. In addition, the westbound I-270 from IL Rte 3 will also be re-opened on Friday July 11th. The concrete bridge deck has been completed and now the contractor is constructing both the median and outside barrier walls. Also, the contractor has been completing the ramp and 270 pavement transitions to the existing 270 pavement. In addition, the contractor has been installing guardrail. Demolition of the existing structures will commence sometime in December and will complete by April 2015. All work should be completed by early Summer of 2015.

06-09-2014 UPDATE: Project is 83% complete. The new bridge is still on schedule to be opened to traffic, late Summer of 2014. Back in the fall of 2013, the contractor completed setting the steel girders. Earlier this year, the carpenters began forming for the concrete bridge deck and then the iron workers followed behind the carpenters, placing and tying the steel reinforcement bars. We placed the first section of concrete bridge deck back in March. Since then, we have constructed 13 of the 17 concrete bridge deck sections. Once the concrete bridge deck sections are completed, the construction of the outside and median walls will start and these should be completed by August-September. Also during this time, the I-270 connections to the new pavement will be constructed. We expect the I-270 westbound traffic to be moved over onto the new bridge in August, weather permitting and I-270 eastbound traffic in late September of this year. Demolition of the existing structure will commence shortly thereafter and continue during the winter months. All work should be completed by late Spring of 2015.

06-04-2013 UPDATE: Contractor erecting steel girders from Pier 1 to Pier 2 on the west side, installing inspection walkway under the steel girders, placing and grading soil on the east approach, tying pavement reinforcement and preparation for the proposed continuously reinforced concrete pavement on the west approach. Project is 56% complete.

03-25-2013 UPDATE: Erection of structural steel girders between Pier 1 & Pier 2, construction of the Pier 2 concrete stem including forming and rebar placement, construction of Pier 3 footing, construction of drilled shafts in Pier 4. The project is currently approximately 50% complete and a final completion is anticipated in the summer of 2014.

02-14-2013 UPDATE: Erection of structural steel girders between Pier 1 & Pier 2, installing temporary shoring towers at the west side of the canal, construction of the Pier 2 concrete stem including forming and rebar placement, and excavation of the drill shafts at Piers 3 & 4 on the eastside of the canal. Placement of the aggregate base has been completed and commencement of Continuous Reinforced Concrete pavement construction will begin in April weather permitting. The project is currently approximately 45% complete and a final completion is anticipated in the summer of 2014.

09-21-2012 UPDATE: Walsh Construction Company is approximately 30% complete with the contract at this time. The IL Rte 3 SB to I-270 WB and I-270 EB to IL Rte 3 SB ramps have been relocated and are now in operation. The east Chain of Rocks Levee has been relocated with final seeding to commence soon. The MSE wall along the ramp from IL Rte 3S B to I-270 WB is complete. All soil embankment, new median inlets, and storm sewer for the new alignment are in place. Degrading of the existing highway alignment and final storm sewer connectors will take place once traffic is removed from the existing alignment. Construction of the west bridge abutment is complete and construction of the east bridge abutment is in progress. The Pier Cofferdam construction at the west side of the canal is complete and the Pier Cofferdam construction at the east side of the canal is in progress. Pier 1 (near the west bridge abutment) drilled shafts are complete and excavation of the pier 2 drilled shafts (west side of canal cofferdam) are in progress. Steel Plate girders for the new structure are currently being shipped from the fabricator to the local storage yards.

07-24-2012 UPDATE: The contractor is continuing to construct the west as well as the east earth embankments. I-270 eastbound traffic on Chouteau Island has been shifted to the south onto temporary pavement to facilitate construction of the new bridge approach pavement. The majority of the concrete has been placed for the west abutment, and construction of the piers 1-3 has commenced via the excavation of drilled shafts at pier 1 and cofferdam construction at piers 2 & 3. The construction of the retaining wall along the IL 3 ramp to I-270 westbound is approximately 33% complete and final grading and paving of the relocated IL 3 ramps is underway. The contractor has commenced delivery of the new structure’s girders to local storage locations. The contract is approximately 15% complete.

Contract Information

Letting Date: June 17, 2011
Award Date: July 19, 2011
Execution Date: August 1, 2011
Start Date: October 31, 2011
DBE Subcontractors goal: 25%

Project Cost Construction= $104 million
Prime Design Consultant HDR Engineering, Inc., Chicago, IL
Prime Contractor Walsh Construction Company, Chicago, IL
Phase III Consultant Crawford, Murphy & Tilley, Springfield, IL



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