New I-270 bridge project touted to help travel, freight

Chronicle Media 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (center) joined with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (far right,) and other officials from both states in launching the construction for the new Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River on June 13. The project is a joint effort between both states. (Photo courtesy of

Illinois and Missouri officials are celebrating the start of construction on a new Interstate 270 bridge that links both states across the Mississippi River and is being touted as major transportation and commercial investment for both states.

The joint $531.6 million project – known as the Chain of Rocks Bridge — will improve safety and mobility along a major freight and travel corridor, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The existing bridge was built in 1966.

The I-270 roadway connects many of the Metro East region’s warehouses and distribution centers, ports, airports, and rail yards on both sides of the Mississippi River. About two-thirds  of the region’s industrial tenants occupying large warehouse space in excess of 500,000 square feet are within 10 minutes of the interstate.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined official from departments of transportation in Illinois and Missouri on June 13 to launch the project that officials say will improve one of the country’s critical freight corridors, while also creating an economic boon for the region

by creating good-paying jobs and strong industrial and commercial growth.

“This isn’t just an investment for the Metro East region — it’s an investment for our entire nation. This major freight corridor connects our ports and railways — essential to maintaining a steady supply chain for Illinoisans, Missourians, and all Americans alike,” said Pritzker. “Up and down the Metro East region, we’re restoring and rebuilding, creating good-paying jobs, and making sure working families have the opportunities and resources they need to build good lives for themselves.”

“The I-270 Chain of Rocks bridge represents the great partnership between Missouri and Illinois investing in this vital freight corridor connecting I-270 to I-70,” added Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. “Along with the bridge, Missouri is transforming I-270 as well as making historic improvements to I-70 across the entire state. Infrastructure has remained a top priority for us since the very beginning. We’ve come a long way in Missouri, and as witnessed with this project and countless others, we are not done yet.”

The current 57-year-old bridge accommodates more than 50,000 vehicles a day — one out of five of which are trucks — and it has required frequent maintenance and repairs.

A $496.2 million joint IDOT-MoDOT project will replace the bridge with two structures that have wider shoulders that can accommodate the eventual expansion of I-270 to three lanes in each direction, according to the state of Illinois.

Missouri Department of Transportation will complete a companion $35.4 million project that will reconstruct the Riverview Drive interchange just west of the bridge.

Construction started last winter and is anticipated to wrap up in 2026. Additional information can be found by visiting the project website at

Glen Carbon Republican Illinois Sen. Erica Harriss praised the bridge project. “It’s incredibly important we maintain and improve our state’s infrastructure. The Chain of Rocks Bridge plays a critical role in connecting those coming to and from the Metro East and Greater St. Louis Area. As traffic counts have more than doubled since the construction of the current bridges, there is a critical need to replace the bridges and improve the overall safety for both passenger and commercial traffic,” she said.

“Thanks to Gov. Pritzker’s vision and the support of the General Assembly in passing Rebuild Illinois, transformational projects are completed or underway in every part of the state,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “The I-270 project is extra special because of the partnership with Missouri to work together to improve safety, commerce and quality of life for an entire region.”

Both Missouri and Illinois continue to coordinate on long-term plans to improve capacity and increase reliability of I-270 by adding a third lane in each direction, extending as far east as Illinois 157, according Pritzker’s office.

In IDOT’s current multiyear improvement program, $75 million is identified courtesy of Rebuild Illinois for an additional lane between the river and just east of St. Thomas Road, a project that includes the reconstruction of the Illinois 3 interchange.

Visit for information and highlights on other RBI projects happening throughout the state.