State Watchdog: Dozens of Illinois Bridges overdue for critical inspections

People of Illinois need to be wary as a state watchdog says that the Illinois Department of Transportation is long overdue in inspecting dozens of bridges across the state. The condition is so worse that the bridges are up to 21 years overdue in the inspection.

The salient findings of the Illinois Auditor General state that 28 bridges in the state are overdue for a routine inspection. Five of those bridges are rated as structurally deficient. 27 bridges in Illinois are overdue for ‘special inspections.’ Special inspections are often prompted by structural damage or deterioration. 24 of them are structurally deficient, while five are overdue by more than two years.

7 of the state bridges are as long as 19 years overdue for underwater inspections. Two of them have not been inspected in 17 years and are rated as structurally deficient. 11 bridges were overdue for fracture-critical inspections. A portion or all of the bridge could be collapse if examinations of components would result in failure. Two of those were over 21 years overdue.

The Auditor General’s office has noted that some of the bridges come under the responsibility of neighboring states. However, they have recommended that IDOT follow up with the proper authorities in those states to determine why their inspections had not been completed. The report say that the IDOT officials have agreed with the findings of the report.

They have stated that, “they recognize that while they have made significant strides with the bridge inspection delinquencies over the last several years, they still have more work to do and will continue to stress the importance of timely inspections particularly to the local agencies.”

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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