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Project Profile: The Houbolt Road Bridge P3 Project, Joliet, Illinois

View of bridge.

The Houbolt Road Extension is a privately financed 1.5-mile long extension of Houbolt Road from US 6 to Schweitzer Road with a new bridge over the Des Plaines River.

Source: Credit to I-80 Coalition

Project Name

Illinois Houbolt Road Bridge P3 Project


Joliet, Illinois

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
CenterPoint Properties Trust and the State of Illinois

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryPublic-Private PartnershipsProject FinanceValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques

Joint Development, Negotiated Exaction, Right-of-Way Use Agreements


Multimodal, Highway and Toll Bridge


The Houbolt Road is the largest inland port in North America located in Will County. A privately owned and operated tolled 1.5-mile roadway/bridge project. The project limits extend from the existing Houbolt Road/US 6 intersection south to the Schweitzer Road/Vetter Road intersection. This new access route for trucks is the result of years of collaboration and thoughtful planning, and will ensure the industry remains a driver of jobs and revenue for Will County while protecting our community. The Joliet City Council on Tuesday (7/20/2020) approved an agreement that will make the city owners of a toll bridge over the Des Plaines River to be built, operated and maintained by a private partnership created by CenterPoint Properties.

An agreement was executed between the Illinois Department of Transportation, CenterPoint Properties Trust, the City of Joliet, and Will County. Under the agreement, CenterPoint was authorized to build and operate a new tolled bridge on Houbolt Road over the Des Plaines River.

The Houbolt Road bridge project included extension of Houbolt Road between US-6 and Schweitzer Road by constructing a new toll bridge over the Des Plaines River, widening Houbolt Road between Interstate 80 and the bridge, and rebuilding the interchange at Interstate 80. The bridge spans the Des Plaines River BNSF Railroad tracks to create a direct connection to Interstate 80 for trucks at the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. The facility marked the country’s largest inland port where goods are transferred between rail and freight.

The project involved improvements to the I-80/Houbolt Road Interchange and the US-6/Houbolt Road Intersection, including construction, reconstruction, widening, and resurfacing work. The reconstruction of the US-6/Houbolt Road Intersection included new traffic signalization. In addition, widening and resurfacing work was performed to the Houbolt Road between I-80 and US-6. Improvements were also carried to the Railroad Crossing surface and signals along the Houbolt Road. The project used a diverging-diamond design to help with traffic flow, and provided two lanes of traffic in each direction. The project improvements were intended to connect Vetter Road/Baseline Road to provide I-80 access to the CenterPoint Intermodal Center Facilities in Joliet and Elwood.

The project is designed to improve safety and relieve congestion for the 11,000 vehicles, including more than 6,600 trucks that use the bridge daily. Tolls collected will help strengthen the State’s economy.


$190 million

  • $150-$170 million for bridge engineering and construction
  • $21 million to cover engineering and construction costs for the improvements north of US-6
Funding Sources
  • Equity Providers ($150-$170 million): CenterPoint Properties Trust and United Bridge Partners. CenterPoint will build and operate a new tolled bridge on Houbolt Road over the Des Plaines River and the BNSF Railroad tracks
  • State Fund: $21 million to improve Houbolt (Hollywood) from US 6 to I-80 and to build a more efficient diverging diamond interchange at I-80 to accommodate the increased traffic demand
Project Delivery / Contract Method
  • Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM), The Joliet City Council approves 99-year lease agreement for privately built project.
  • The Houbolt Road Extension Joint Venture, LLC (or HRE-JV) is financing the design and construction of the project
Private Partner

Houbolt Road Extension JV, LLC (CenterPoint Properties Trust
United Bridge Partners

Project Advisors / Consultants
  • Oppenheimer & Co, Financial
  • Jacobs Engineering Group (formerly LeighFisher), Technical
  • Transystems Corporation oversees the phase 1 and 2 engineering of the interchange portion of the project.

Project investor: Houbolt Road Extension JV, LLC (Investor)

Duration / Status

Construction is forecasted to begin in 2020 and the project completed by 2023

Financial Status / Financial Performance
  • The City of Joliet received $2.1 million to hire engineers to design the new interchange. It approved a contract with Transystems Corporation to oversee the phase 1 and 2 engineering of the interchange portion of the project. The initial cost of the contract with Transystems was for $1.93 million, just under the $2.1 million estimate.
  • A tolling agreement was executed between Will County and CenterPoint Properties establishing a maximum and minimum toll rate schedule for the Houbolt Road bridge.
  • Creative solutions to fund the project such as the state would contribute $21 million to the project while the company - CenterPoint Properties -- would cover the bulk of funding estimated at between $150 million and $170 million.
  • Partnership of government and private businesses working together to improve infrastructure, increase safety and invest in our local economy. The public-private partnership includes the State of Illinois, CenterPoint Properties, Will County and the City of Joliet
  • The project improvements led to congestion relief on roads not built for heavy truck traffic, addressed the safety concerns expressed by local communities, and enhanced the efficiency of the intermodal facilities.
Related Links / Articles

Jennifer Kuntz
Assistant Chief Counsel, Illinois Department of Transportation

Rick Mathews
General Counsel, CenterPoint Properties

James D. Hock
Manager, City of Joliet
(815) 724-3720

Map view.
The proposed bridge on Houbolt Road in Will County.
Credit to Brock A. Stein, The Timeweekly

Bridge rendering.
The 1.5-mile long extension of Houbolt Road from US Route 6 to Schweitzer Road with a new bridge over the Des Plaines River
Source: Credit to Center Point Property
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