Brandon Road bridge out of action again

The Brandon Road bridge was shut down once again Sunday.

“A mechanical malfunction late this morning led us to close it down this afternoon,” Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Guy Tridgell said in an email Sunday.

“Will know more tomorrow about the scope of the problem, repairs, as well as estimated time to reopen,” Tridgell said.

The Joliet Township bridge reopened April 5 after a 15-month shutdown which IDOT blamed on emergency repairs to a failed mechanical component.

The drawbridge over the Des Plaines River has been shut down repeatedly in the past several years for repairs due to what IDOT has said were problems with the center lock mechanism that connects and releases the two sections of the bridge as it goes up and down.

Built in the 1930s, the Brandon Road bridge is one of six drawbridges that cross the Des Plaines River in the Joliet area. The other bridges are in downtown Joliet, including the Jefferson Street bridge, which has been out of operation since June 2020.

To alleviate traffic problems caused by the closure of the Jefferson Street bridge, the Cass Street bridge was converted from a one-way westbound span to a two-way route over the river.

“The standard detour that has been in place in the past will be in effect” while the Brandon Road bridge is closed, Tridgell said.

“Not all the signs are up currently but that is something that (they) will work on tomorrow if needed,” he said.

Previously, the detour directed traffic across the river at McDonough Street via Route 6, Route 52/Illinois 53 and Laraway Road.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.