Think the shutdown of northbound Lake Shore Drive was bad? Will County bridges are even more alarming.

Mary Wisniewski Contact Reporter
Chicago Tribune
Feb. 15, 2019

Photo of Des Plaines Bridge Structure

The east-side span of Interstate 80 near the Des Plaines River in Joliet is seen in this photo taken Tuesday. Some of the most structurally worrisome bridges in the area are not in Chicago, but along the rapidly developing I-80 corridor in Will County. Abel Uribe, Chicago Tribune

The discovery of cracks in steel beams along Lake Shore Drive this week raised alarms about other problem bridges.

Two of the worst bridges in the state are along Interstate 80, crossing the Des Plaines River in Joliet, a rapidly developing area in Will County with heavy interstate truck traffic and distribution centers for companies like Amazon and Dollar Tree.

A prolonged shutdown of the bridges would be economically devastating. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk on Thursday said he is asking the city’s public safety officials to begin working with county, state and federal authorities to establish a specific plan of action in case of a partial or complete failure of the structures.

He is also pressing lawmakers for emergency funding to repair and replace the bridges. O’Dekirk warned that unless the Illinois or U.S. departments of transportation give the city a “definitive plan” for funding and repairing the bridges in the near future, he will order a diversion of vehicles away from it, warn motorists of potential dangers and advise on alternative routes. 

Read the full article.


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