WIUM Tristates Public Radio

1 in 12 Illinois Bridges Deficient

Jun 21, 2013

A national transportation advocacy groups says 1 in 12 Illinois bridges are structurally deficient.

Transportation for America looked at national highway data to come up with the number, which comes out to about 8 percent.

David Schnieder is the county engineer for Schuyler County. He said just under 10 percent of bridges on township roads in his county are deficient.

Bridge on Wigwam Hollow Road (Not confirmed Deficient.)
Credit SSS

He said as bridges age, more will become deficient if investment isn’t made now.

“Eventually there is going to come a time where if you let so much go, and then so much more,  that stacking or that compounding effect will be a major factor.”

McDonough County Engineer, Tom Hickman, said 12 percent of the bridges in his county are deficient. He said the highway department has started building bridges in house instead of hiring contractors, to save money.

He added that the money they receive in grant money every year for bridges on township roads, doesn't cover the cost of replacing one bridge.

In addition, he said McDonough County has several bridges sitting on wooden pilings that will need to be replaced soon.

According to Hancock County Engineer, Elgin Berry ,15 percent of the bridges in his county are considered deficient.