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Obama's 'Fix it First' Program Highlights Failing Bridges in U.S., Area

Find out which bridges in the Deerfield, Highland Park, Lake Bluff and Lake Forest area are labeled as "structurally deficient."

President Barack Obama proposed Tuesday night a "Fix It First" program to address the nation's crumbling infrastructure—like roads and bridges—in an effort to improve citizens' quality of life and bring jobs to the United States.

There are nearly 70,000 "structurally deficient" bridges throughout the United States that require "significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement," according to the Transportation for America website. 

In Illinois, 8.5 percent of the state's bridges are "structurally deficient." The state is ranked 35th worst nationally for the overall quality of its bridges, according to the Transportation for America website. 

Locally, there are a handful of bridges that are highlighted as structurally deficient on the Transportation for America website. The good news is that many of the more heavily traveled bridges that fit that criteria have been fixed or will be fixed soon, according to information gathered by Patch.com. 

Below is information on some of those bridges:

Deerfield

  • Lake Cook Road bridge crossing Chicago River near in Deerfield, Cook County. The bridge was built in 1929 and carries an average of 34,900 vehicles per day. Last inspection was Oct. 2008.
  • Central Street bridge crossing Chicago River in Deerfield, Lake County. The bridge was built in 1930 and carries an average of 309 vehicles per day. Last inspection was Nov. 2009.
  • Juniper Court bridge crossing Chicago River in Deerfield, Lake County. The bridge was built in 1965 and carries an average of 309 vehicles per day. Last inspection was Nov. 2009.

Highland Park

  • Deerfield Road bridge crossing E. Skokie Ditch in High Park, Lake County. The bridge was built in 1962 and carries an average of 11,800 vehicles per day. Bridge replacement is scheduled for completion in June 2013 at a cost of $1.23 million, according to IDOT.
  • Deerfield Road bridge crossing Berkeley Avenue in Highland Park, Lake County. the bridge was built in 1961 and carries an average of 22,700 vehicles per day. Last inspection was Oct. 2008.

Lake Forest/Lake Bluff

  • Lake Road bridge crosses ravine in Lake Forest, Lake County. The bridge was built in 1912 and carries an average of 600 vehicles per day. Last inspection was Nov. 2009.
  • IL Route 176 bridge crosses E. Skokie Ditch in Lake Bluff, Lake County. The bridge was built in 1921 and carries an average of 14,200 vehicles per day. Last inspection was June 2009.

Tell us in the comments: Which bridges and roads do you think NEED to be fixed in the area?

Gary February 14, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Only companies employing unions will be able to get contracts to work on these bridges. This is just another payoff to his core supporters. Nothing more than that. This is the way the stimulus was run since day one, which is one of the reasons why it didn't help the economy.

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