DK Bob Michael Bridge

PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler joined the Illinois Department of Transportation to celebrate the upcoming completion of the $24.6 million Bob Michel Bridge rehabilitation that will help connect pedestrians between the East Peoria Levee and Peoria Warehouse districts.

“Today, we’re celebrating not just an infrastructure upgrade, but a testament to our collective determination to enhance connectivity and community safety,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “The wellbeing of our residents is imperative, and with the modernization the Bob Michel Bridge has undergone, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists can be assured their safety is a top priority.”

The Bob Michel Bridge carries about 17,000 vehicles a day on Illinois 40 over the Illinois River between Peoria and East Peoria. Both communities are undergoing a revitalization of commercial and retail industries along the riverfront. In March, the bridge closed in order to construct a new deck, undergo structural repairs, modernize traffic signals, and more thanks to funding from the Koehler-backed historic Rebuild Illinois Program.

“Providing multiple safe, reliable mobility options for the public is one of the centerpieces of Rebuild Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “The Bob Michel Bridge project not only expedited longtime maintenance needs but also delivered on finding new, exciting ways to get around the greater Peoria area.”

Narrow sidewalks on both lanes of traffic were consolidated into a 14-foot-wide path protected from Illinois 40 by a concrete barrier, providing a safer travel option for bicyclists and pedestrians while providing connections to the region’s trail network, including the Rock Island Greenway Trail and the River Trail of Illinois. New LED lighting was also installed to improve visibility and safety.

“The reopening of the rehabilitated Bob Michel Bridge signifies an important day in our community,” said Peoria Mayor Rita Ali. “Although it was a challenge to adapt to the closure of a well-traversed bridge, it was a worthwhile disruption for the improvements made will result in better traffic flow and improved access to businesses and surrounding communities.  Thank you to Governor Pritzker for funding this project through Rebuild Illinois.” 

The Bob Michel Bridge is one of several efforts to revitalize bridges in the Peoria area made possible by Rebuild Illinois. The project has invested a total of $33.2 billion into the state’s transportation system over six years, and has created jobs and promoted economic growth.

“As a community that recognizes and appreciates the regional benefits that the Bob Michel Bridge brings to the greater Peoria area, we are excited to celebrate its reopening,” said East Peoria Mayor John Kahl. “The infrastructure enhancements that have been made by IDOT to the Bob Michel Bridge will provide improved safety and accessibility for our residents and visitors for many years into the future.”

The bridge is expected to reopen in the coming weeks, weather permitting.

"On behalf of the 17,000 union construction professionals and over 300 partner contractors I represent, we appreciate opportunities provided by the Rebuild Illinois Capital plan championed by Leader Gordon-Booth, Senator Koehler and Governor Pritzker,” said West Central Building & Construction Trades Council Executive Director Clinton Drury. “The eight month project to reconstruct the Bob Michel Bridge provided thousands of work hours to local construction professionals and local contractors, stimulating the local economy. Projects like these provide real opportunities for the younger workforce to enter the trades and hone their skills, while also employing seasoned journeymen and women. Our members take great pride in building central Illinois and the Bob Michel bridge rehabilitation is a great example."

People can visit for information on this project and other Rebuild Illinois projects happening throughout the state.