Slough Bridge in Peru in ‘critical’ condition

Peru council discusses next steps

The deteriorating condition of the Slough Bridge in Peru has left the City Council with three options: discuss a replacement plan, get an inspection and base a decision off the results or close the bridge permanently.

“This bridge is deteriorating, and at some point we need to make a decision on what to do,” said City Engineer Eric Carls.

Alderman Dave Waldorf and Alderman Aaron Buffo both said an inspection needs to happen now, especially because the bridge is nearing its end of the month due date for an inspection.

According to state regulations, the bridge must be inspected by the Illinois Department of Transportation every two years. In 2020, an inspection cost the city $4,000. Now, there are new regulations and a need for a third-party inspector to evaluate all parts of the bridge, including the bottom areas and underneath, which are hard to reach. This new inspection will cost about $30,000 and will still take place every two years.

The bridge came into critical condition about a year ago. It was closed temporarily and then reopened. Now, Carls said the bridge is at risk of getting shut down.

The council discussed in a committee meeting which course of action they wanted to take. The aldermen agreed the inspection, while expensive, was necessary. Carls said he will move forward with plans for an inspection and the item will be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

Carls said he didn’t have an exact number on how much replacing the bridge would cost, but it would be at least a $1 million to $2 million project.

The Slough Bridge is highly traveled during the summer months because it provides the only access to the boat ramp in Peru. The option of putting weight limits on vehicles that travel over the bridge was discussed and has been implemented in the past. Future signage depends on inspection results.

Carls said his priority is the safety of the public and will focus on complying with state regulations.