Call Now:

(312) 609-0400

Call Us for Free Consultation

Call Now: (312) 609-0400

Close this search box.

The Most Dangerous Bridges in Illinois

Lake Shore Bridge, Chicago

or fill out the Contact Form

State inspectors with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are warning people about structural deficiencies in many Chicago area bridges. Illinois ranks third in the United States for its number of bridges, but 16 percent of them have been deemed structurally deficient and dangerous by structural engineers with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Lake Shore Bridge, Chicago

Unsafe Chicago Bridges

A recent CBS 2 News investigation pointed out two busy bridges that are in dire need of repairs and dangerous for drivers. The Lake Shore Drive Bridge and the Des Plaines River bridge on I-80 were listed in the investigative report.

Lake Shore Bridge

In 2017, the Lake Shore Bridge passed inspection by the Chicago Department of Transportation, however, in a recent inspection, reports noted minor cracks and structural deterioration. A state inspector stated that damage was likely caused by a shift in column support. An Illinois civil engineer who examined the problems with the bridge called drivers who were traveling over the bridge “lucky” to have escaped accidents and injuries.

Des Plaines River Bridge

State inspectors who examined the Des Plaines River Bridge for safety reported the Joliet span to be in critical condition with damages serious enough to close the bridge. To warn drivers of dangers, the Operating Engineers Local 150 put up two billboards that drivers can see from both directions as they approach the bridge. The billboards read, “Cross Bridge at Your Own Risk” and “Bridge Ahead in Critical Condition.”

The Lake Shore Bridge and the Des Plaines River Bridge are the only two bridges noted in the CBS 2 report, but state officials warn that other bridges may also be structurally deficient and unsafe. Federal data shows there are 1,700 bridges in Cook County, and 1,200 have worse inspection reports than the Lake Shore Drive Bridge.

IDOT told CBS 2 they are working on short term structural maintenance for the bridges, but state funding for repairs and rebuilding are a problem. They explained that bridge repairs are funded by state gas tax which has not increased in 30 years. It has remained at 19 cents per gallon since 1990, despite greater fuel efficiency and inflation. IDOT officials plan to shell out 2.6 billion for Illinois bridge maintenance and improvements over the next six years. However, IDOT estimates they will need at least 10 billion dollars for all necessary repairs, leaving a 7.4 million underfunding shortage.

Dangerous Bridges Across the Country

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 1 out of every 11 U.S. bridges is structurally deficient, meaning that they need repairs and pose potential dangers of collapse. America has more than 600,000 bridges that connect highways and roads to cities and communities. Out of these 600,000 bridges, 56,000 are structurally deficient and need repairs. National transportation data shows that over 170 million drivers and pedestrians cross these deficient bridges every day, putting themselves at risk for serious injuries and fatalities.

Although federal funding for bridge repairs increased to $32.3 billion in 2016, it will take at least 30 years to repair over 1,200 miles of crumbling bridges in America. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, who researched bridge safety in all 50 states, some states’ bridges are worse than others. The six states that topped the list for unsafe bridges include:

  1. Rhode Island – 24.9 percent
  2. Iowa – 20.5 percent
  3. Pennsylvania – 19.8 percent
  4. South Dakota – 19.6 percent
  5. Nebraska – 15.4 percent
  6. West Virginia – 15.1 percent

Other states that made the list include North Dakota, Oklahoma, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Louisiana, and New York. Many of America’s structurally deficient bridges are built over water which makes them even harder to repair and rebuild. The world-renown Golden State Bridge in San Francisco, California frequently encounters high winds up to 100 mph, as well as earthquakes. The Cape William Moore Bridge in Anchorage, Alaska is built over an active earthquake fault. The Seven Mile Bridge in Southern Florida spans seven miles of water while sitting 65 feet above the Gulf of Mexico.

In Illinois, there are many reports of car accidents, injuries, and deaths on bridges across the state. In February, a two-car collision on the Iron Bridge Road from Lake Springfield left a pickup truck dangling over the guardrail. The crash was blamed on ice that formed on the bridge overnight. In late November, one person was killed and three more were injured in a crash on the Julien Dubuque Bridge. The bridge was closed down for seven hours after the fatal crash.

Car crashes on bridges are usually related to driver errors, traffic violations, and vehicle malfunctions. Just one driver injury or death is too many, but a bridge collapse often results in multiple car crashes with hundreds of serious injuries and deaths.

Share This Article

As the founder of the firm, Neal has devoted his life to working for the worker. His achievements are numerous and beyond reproach. He is most proud of his work in helping clients obtain valuable benefits, such as a wheelchair ramp to his home or lifetime medical care.

or fill out the Contact Form

As the founder of the firm, Neal has devoted his life to working for the worker. His achievements are numerous and beyond reproach. He is most proud of his work in helping clients obtain valuable benefits, such as a wheelchair ramp to his home or lifetime medical care.

Related Articles

Big rig t-boned the other vehicle. Truck accident lawsuit
Motor Vehicle Accident

How the Black Box Can Help Your Truck Accident Lawsuit in Illinois

Understanding how the black box can help your truck accident lawsuit in Illinois can improve your odds of recovering full compensation for your injuries or losses. A black box is an electronic onboard recording tool that monitors the trucker’s driving time. The box can offer information on the truck’s operation before, during, and after an accident.

Young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policy holder must to sign. Lowball insurance settlement offer
Motor Vehicle Accident

Reasons for a Lowball Insurance Settlement Offer

An insurance company in Chicago, Illinois, may propose a lowball insurance settlement offer to maximize profits and avoid a lawsuit. The company may make a low settlement offer because it used software to generate it, or believes you are likely to take the offer. An insurer may also offer a lowball settlement if it thinks you will not retain a lawyer.

3d Illustration of men Feeling the Neck Pain. average payout for nerve damage car accident
Motor Vehicle Accident

What Is the Average Payout for Nerve Damage After a Car Accident?

The average payout for nerve damage after a car accident can vary. Every case is unique, and the amount of compensation you receive will depend on the factors related to your situation. This includes the severity of your injuries, how they impact your daily life, and the losses you experience as a result of your damages.

Get a FREE Consultation:
We want to earn your business.

    Lawyers logos
    Lawyers logos