CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that a hole in the eastbound I-80 Des Plaines River bridge deck has been patched and that all lanes of traffic are now open.
In a Facebook post, IDOT said the lanes are not on the bridge but farther east at Illinois Route 53.
In February, CBS 2 reported on the I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge, called the “Jenga Bridge” by locals. IDOT used wooden cribbing to keep the steel beams from collapsing under heavy loads. Its span was listed in “critical condition” during its last inspection in November. Its structural evaluation was listed as “intolerable”.
A group of concerned residents said they worry about a Love’s Truck Stop set to go in right next to the bridge sometime this year that could bring an additional 600 trucks and 2,400 cars over the 54-year-old bridge.
“Will that bridge support it?” said Margie Cepon, whose family lives near the bridge.
IDOT said it can. The blocks are a short term fix, but the bridge is safe for travel.
However, residents note that a 2018 inspection report shows that crews maintaining the bridge have been wrong before, having to reinstall some of the wooden beams that were initially added incorrectly.
IDOT said the $3.5 million plan for replacement is in their multi-year plan for the next five years. But it’s looking like it would happen towards the end of that plan, which goes through 2024. It’s also dependent on funding.