The Chicago Tribune recently reviewed Illinois Department of Transportation data showing that “400 out of 3,460 bridges in the six-county Chicago metro area are considered ‘structurally deficient,’ meaning they are in need of repair or possibly replacement. That’s nearly 12 percent.”

The Tribune reported that for bridges to be considered deficient, “inspectors must find that the deck, superstructure or substructure is in poor condition, with advanced deterioration and breakage in critical areas.”

And one of those deficient bridges is in Oak Park. 

The bridge on East Avenue over I-290 and the railroad gets an average of 4,500 commuters a day, according to IDOT. Built in 1957, and reconstructed in 1984, IDOT rated the bridge’s deck as fair; its superstructure as poor; and its substructure as fair. It was last inspected in July 2018. 

The East Avenue bridge was one of three that the Oak Park Board of Trustees identified for a range of repairs last year. 

Michael Romain 

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