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1 in 12 Illinois Bridges Structurally Deficient

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 23, 2011 2:11PM

A report released yesterday showed that 2,239 bridges in Illinois have structural problems that require immediate repairs. The report conducted by transportation advocacy group Transportation for America also indicates that a growing repair backlog means the deficiencies will only get worse if left unattended.

Among the bridges on the list are three on Lake Shore Drive that are used daily by over 100,000 motorists and other bridges like the 95th Street Bridge over the Cal-Sag canal and overpass bridges at Ashland and Pershing and Belmont/Western/Clybourn, according to an interactive map compiled from the list by the Sun-Times. Illinois Public Interest Research Group (Illinois PIRG) head Brian Imus said, “It’s just digging taxpayers into a bigger hole where we are going to have more and more infrastructure needs that will require more and more dollars to address problems.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation countered the report, saying “there are no unsafe or dangerous IDOT bridges open to the public" and suggesting that, since they've repaired 500 bridges in the past two years, the report's findings may be outdated.

The top five most structurally deficient bridges in the area, besides the three Lake Shore Drive Bridges, include I-290 between the Chicago River and Post Office and I-290 by Il Route 83.