IDOT: Broken Brandon Road Bridge not shut down forever

The problem-plagued Brandon Road bridge has been shut down for good, the Illinois State Police said Monday, but that's not the case at all, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

District 5 state police posted on its Facebook page Monday morning that the Brandon Road bridge was finished forever.

"Illinois Department of Transportation has advised that the Brandon Road Bridge over the Des Plaines River in Rockdale, IL is now closed permanently," the post said. "Please plan ahead to take alternate routes."

But IDOT spokeswoman Maria Castaneda said the bridge is actually just closed for repairs.

"It's emergency repairs that's needed," said Castaneda, who noted the 80-something-year-old bridge was shut down Sunday night on a temporary basis.

While the bridge has not been shut down permanently, Castaneda said, there is not a timetable for when it will be open again.

The bridge has been repeatedly shut down since 2016 due to the failure of the span's center lock mechanism.

IDOT has tentative plans to replace the entire system this year. The project is in the design phase.

The center lock connects the two ends of the drawbridge when it is lowered and releases them when it is raised.

The bridge is one of six drawbridges over the Des Plaines River in the Joliet area. The other five are in downtown Joliet. The Brandon Road bridge is outside the city in the area of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.