Illinois Highway 161 Detour

A Message from the President

161 Road Closure and Joliff Bridge Road

Happy New Year and Welcome to the spring semester!

As we have been informing our student and staff population for the last few months, State Route 161 has been closed at the Crooked Creek Bridge due to the construction of a new bridge.  While the road closure is unfortunate and inconvenient, it is also important to highlight that the current bridge has been deemed unsafe and structurally deficient.  According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, construction of the new bridge is estimated to be completed within a 12 month time period. 

Due to the bridge closure, IDOT has announced alternative routes for travel to and from Centralia.  Please see the image attached if you are searching for an alternative route.  Please note that Joliff Bridge Road is closed for local traffic only and should not be utilized for travel to and from the college.  This road is very narrow and unprepared for large volumes of traffic.  The safety of our students and staff is the top priority for the administration at Kaskaskia College and we ask that those who are making the commute to KC, as well as to Centralia, to allow for additional time in your travels.  Please keep in mind this is a temporary closure to improve the roadway for all of our citizens.  Additionally, you can follow the updates of the bridge construction at  We will also be updating KC Alerts with important messages of the bridge construction as the progression occurs, so please if  you have not already done so, please subscribe to KC Alerts!

In closing,  I wish to also extend an invitation to all students and staff to not forget about the businesses located on the 161 closure route. The small businesses in the Kaskaskia College district are the lifeblood of our community and they are very supportive of Kaskaskia College in one way are the other through several means:  they employ our students, they donate to our causes, and they care about the image and progress of this great institution.  Please try to support our local businesses during this temporary road closure.

Again welcome back and let’s have a safe and prosperous New Year!!!

George M. Evans

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