CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Transportation says major work on the Jane Byrne Interchange will be stopped by the middle of next week if a work strike continues.  

About 300 heavy equipment operators with Local 150 who work in Chicago area quarries have been on strike since June 7, claiming unfair labor practices. 

The workers help produce sand, gravel and crushed stone, materials essential to making asphalt and concrete. The strike has resulted in a shortage of asphalt and concrete in the Chicago area.  

The Illinois Department of Transportation says due to the shortage, construction work in the area is being stalled, including work on several large-scale projects:  

  • Jane Byrne Interchange Project: By the middle of next week, no major work will be able to continue 
  • I-80 Bridge Work: Crews are doing drainage work, framing and small pours, but currently nothing major due to the shortage 
  • I-55 at Weber Road: Work is progressing with electrical work, grading, installing signs and constructing new sidewalks and curbs. The contractor for this project has concrete reserves, but asphalt work here is being postponed. 

IDOT says the impact of the strike varies on a project-by-project basis and it is working to make sure construction projects are safe and secure. 

The Chicago Department of Transportation says the strike has had a major impact on projects in the city—including street resurfacing work, the Green Alleys program and the ADA accessible ramp work.  

As for projects on the Illinois Tollway, it says near half of the active construction contracts may be impacted in the near future if the strike remains unresolved.  It’s working to keep work on track as much as possible, while developing contingency plans for all projects that could potentially be impacted.  

Both IDOT and CDOT leaders recently sent letters to the companies that run the Chicago area quarries, asking for a quick and fair resolution.  

“Everyday the strike continues is more detrimental to Chicago’s infrastructure needs and the City’s wellbeing,” wrote CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi in a July 1st letter.  “These delays impact workers, businesses, and families in every corner of the city and across a variety of industries. That this stoppage is happening in the middle of a busy construction season is all the more damaging.”  

Local 150, which represents the operators on strike, says every day the strike continues, more companies are running out of material, more projects are being delayed and more workers are being laid off as a result.  

Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials and LeFarge Holcim operate the Chicago area quarries where workers are striking. They’re members of The Chicago Area Aggregate Producers Association, who tell us that getting employees back to work is their number one priority.  

Both sides met again at the bargaining table yesterday and tell us that they are making progress. They plan to return to the bargaining table this morning to continue talks.