January 11 – A bridge on 85th Street about a mile south of U.S. 36 has been permanently closed, Macon County Engineer Bruce Bird announced Friday.
The bridge on 85th, also known as County Highway 57 and the Dalton City Blacktop, is between Hunters Crossing and Country Side Drive. It had been reduced to one lane with stoplight traffic control.
Bird said large trucks consistently disobeyed the weight limit warnings posted on both sides of the bridge, which is classified as “fracture critical” – meaning a failure would cause an immediate collapse into the creek that could injure drivers and passengers of any vehicle involved.
Safety inspectors and engineers from the Illinois Department of Transportation and Macon County Highway Department staff determined safety must take precedence and closed the bridge as of noon Friday.
Bird said the bridge is scheduled for replacement starting this year, with funding already in place. He said the county still needs to acquire two parcels of land near the bridge before construction can begin.
The new bridge will be higher and wider, improving sight lines for cross traffic to improve safety.
Anyone with questions should call the Macon County Highway Department at 1-217-424-1404.