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IDOT says repairs on Centennial are critical

Drivers who use the Centennial Bridge will have to find a new route soon.

Elizabeth and Walt Keller say they worry about how the closure of the bridge will impact their travel plans.

“This bridge is our second option for getting across the Mississippi, but from time to time we’ve had difficulties with the 74 bridge,” said Walt.

The bridge will be closed for 35 days for repairs, so the Illinois Department of Transportation held an open house letting the public know their plans.

“We’re just trying to get information out there so people know what to expect this summer,” said John Wegmeyer, engineer at IDOT.

Although it may be an inconvenience to drivers, IDOT says the bridge needs attention.

“There’s holes rusted in some of the beams already. The beams that we are replacing are in bad shape, and if we don’t do something this summer, we either have to put severe weight restrictions on – or limit – vehicles that can go across or close the bridge,” said Wegmeyer.

Along with drivers,  IDOT’s hoping the job goes quickly and smoothly.

“When you get into an old bridge, you start taking it apart, you find more problems than you anticipated; and hopefully we wont have any of that,” said Wegmeyer.

People on both sides of the river will be forced to take a detour.

“We don’t like the bridge closed. Nobody likes roads closed, but we rather have it fixed and fixed right, not be in the river,” said Elizabeth.

Construction will start on Monday, June 16, 2014. There will be only one lane open going either direction, and IDOT says all lanes will be open from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.  The bridge will close to all traffic from July 28th to September 5, 2014.

Get more information about the bridge closure – click here.


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