VILLA GROVE, Ill. (WCIA) — People have noticed a main bridge into the city is in bad shape, but it won’t be like that for much longer.
It’s on IL-130 southbound as you enter town. Hundreds of people drive across it every day. The deterioration is causing people to wonder if anything is being done about it.
IDOT has plans to fix it, but it’ll take a while to get it done. In the meantime, some have concerns about the safety of the bridge as it stands right now.
Mark Finke says, “It takes one horrible accident and everybody will wonder, why?”
It’s a question he hopes will never be answered.
As he crosses the 64-year old bridge he says, “The underside is corroded and chipping away.”
It runs across the Embarras River. It’s a well-traveled stretch of road by kids walking to school or people driving through the city. Finke lives around the corner from it and started to see the problems years ago.
He says, “We went underneath it and noticed two of the inner and outer beams are held up by cedar wood blocks. You can see daylight from underneath the decking. The whole thing shakes.”
From up close, or far away, you can see it’s crumbling after years of disrepair.
“It’s almost like walking across a crunchy trampoline,” says Finke, “if you walk across when a semi is crossing you can feel it shifting under your feet.”
IDOT describes it as being “worn down and in poor condition.” It set aside $3.7 million to rebuild it, but the plan hinges on approval from the state legislature. That won’t happen until sometime later this year, leaving people like Finke wondering if it’ll get done.
Finke says, “I understand they’re going to be fixing it. I just hope it happens.”
IDOT says it hopes to be ready to start construction by spring of 2020. It’ll take about a year or two to complete.