An Interstate 80 bridge over the Mississippi River has been reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction, after inspectors found cracks in the steel framing under the bridge deck. The bridge connecting LeClaire, Iowa to Rapids City, Illinois carries more than 33,000 vehicles a day.
Ralph Anderson is the bureau chief of bridges and structures for the Illinois DOT, which is responsible for maintenance of the bridge. "There’s just a handful of cracks," Anderson said. "But we want to make sure we keep the public safe and keep the loads off the affected areas." He says the lane closures are precautionary and the bridge, which opened in 1965, is not in danger of collapsing.
"There are relief joints in the deck and unfortunately salts and water go down through those areas and it causes the steel to be corroded a little more aggressive (in those locations) than the rest of the bridge," Anderson said. The lane closures will remain in place until repairs can be made. Anderson says those repairs may take several weeks.