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Justen Road bridge needs repairs, engineering firm says

Published: Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 11:53 p.m. CDT

PRAIRIE GROVE – The Justen Road bridge needs to be repaired.

The Illinois Department of Transportation declared the bridge structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, which means parts of it are in poor or worse condition and it no longer meets current design standards.

These classifications don’t mean the bridge, which was built in 1973, is likely to collapse or is unsafe, but it does mean it requires significant maintenance and needs repair.

The Prairie Grove Village Board has given the go-ahead to its engineering firm, Baxter & Woodman, to conduct an engineering study for the multiyear project, Village Administrator Jeannine Smith said. Construction would likely start in 2016.

John Ambrose, vice president at Baxter & Woodman, told the board the bridge is in major need of repair at a meeting last year, according to meeting minutes.

The repairs could cost upward of $1.5 million, Smith said.

The village was awarded a federal grant that covers 80 percent of the cost. The village will cover the remaining 20 percent.

The Justen Road bridge is open to regular car and truck traffic, but the village is restricting overweight trucks.

The village also is set to take official ownership of its public works building at 4507 Gracy Road near Route 31.

The village’s public works and police departments began using the former SBC building seven years ago under a $1-a-year lease agreement that was tied to the annexation of the Wildflowers of Prairie Grove development.

While the building itself is free, the village will have to cover closing costs. The board gave the village president the authorization to execute the closing documents at its meeting Tuesday.

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