Brandon Road bridge will need repairs again, IDOT says

1 of 2

No timeline is available yet for reopening the Brandon Road bridge, which broke down over the weekend.

Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Guy Tridgell said a repair schedule for the bridge should be set later this week.

“We will be working to fabricate the broken parts to see that the bridge can reopen as quickly as possible,” Tridgell said.

The drawbridge over the Des Plaines River just outside Joliet has broken down several times in recent years, closing at times for weeks or months.

The problem that developed Saturday again was with the center lock system that has failed repeatedly since 2016. The center lock system releases and connects the two ends of the bridge as it goes up and down to allow barges to pass on the Des Plaines River.

“A sensor failed on the center lock system,” Tridgell said. “That caused a motor to not shut down properly, which damaged other center lock components.”

IDOT plans to replace the entire center lock system, a project that is now in the design phase.

The bridge has been shut down for repairs at least six times since September 2016.

A detour at the broken Brandon Road bridge directs motorists to the McDonough Street bridge, one of five other drawbridges over the Des Plaines River that IDOT maintains in Joliet. The bridges were built in the 1930s. The Brandon Road bridge is just outside Joliet.