The state on Thursday declared the Interstate 80 bridge over the Des Plaines River safe despite an inspection report describing sections as “critical,” “intolerable” and a “high priority for replacement.”
The statement followed an announcement from Mayor Bob O’Dekirk that he was prepared to divert traffic away from the bridge and notify Joliet residents by mail and other means of its “potential danger” if the state does not develop a plan for repairs.
O’Dekirk softened his stance later in the day after talking with the Illinois Department of Transportation. But the mayor said he wants more information and would go forward with measures to divert traffic away from the bridge if he is not convinced it is safe.
“From what they [IDOT officials] are saying, there is a plan in place, so we have to take a look at it,” O’Dekirk said. “Ultimately, I’m not going to be a passive observer.”
IDOT said a repair project is slated to start in the spring.