Last month, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association worked out that there are 2,216 structurally deficient bridges in Illinois. This means that one or more of their key bridge components — deck, superstructure or substructure — is considered to be in poor or worse condition. Another 1,971 bridges are obsolete meaning that their design is no longer sufficient for its current use.


Chicago's St. Charles Bridge

Chicago’s St. Charles Bridge Built in 1930

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) uses a 10-point scale to determine the structural and functional condition of a bridge. If any one of a bridge’s three main components rates four or lower, repair is needed.

Four counties were found to have the ten most traveled structurally deficient bridges in Illinois. These are Cook, Du Page, St Clair, and Will County. Out of them, Cook County is the winner. We have 46.73% totally deficient bridges. Du Page, St Clair, and Will each have one deficient bridge. We are lucky enough to have six lousy crossings.
Here are the details:

• Four bridges are obsolete – two of them dating back to 1933.
• 157 bridges are partially deficient.
• 785 bridges are severely deficient.

In total, Cook County has 1,680 deficient bridges. The 2014 National Bridges Inventory shows that 384,470 caravans, cars, trucks, ambulances, and motor bikes cross these bridges per day.

Here are the locations:

1. Lakeshore Drive over Wilson Avenue
2. Lakeshore Drive over Lawrence Avenue
3. 190EB (NW Toll) over IL-62 (Oakton Street)
4. 190W WB (NW Toll) over IL-62 (Oakton Street)
5. I-55EB over the Martin Luther King Drive Ramp
6. I-55WB over the Martin Luther King Drive Ramp

Do you travel these bridges?
Cost to repair is roughly $9.4 billion.
Huge! But, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Article by Leah Zitter – Writer

Key Points from the Source:
© 2015 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Highlights from FHWA’s 2014 National Bridge Inventory Data:
 Of the 26,588 bridges in the state, 2,216 bridges, or 8% are classified as structurally deficient. This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in “poor” or worse condition.
 There are 1,971 bridges, or 7% of all state bridges, classified as functionally obsolete. This means the bridge does not meet design standards that are in line with current practice.
 State and local contract awards for bridge construction totaled $3.63 billion over the past five years, 27 percent of highway and bridge contract awards, compared to a national average of 29 percent.
 Since 2004, 2,574 new bridges have been constructed in the state and 395 bridges have undergone major reconstruction.
 The state estimates that it would cost approximately $9.4 billion to fix a total of 2,872 bridges in the state.