Bridges at risk in Chicago - New York News

Bridges at risk in Chicago

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Bridges are everywhere in Chicago.

That's no surprise, but what may be surprising, according to Transportation for America -- one in 12 bridges in Illinois is structurally deficient.

And things are getting worse.

This state is one of more than a dozen where the number of structurally deficient bridges has actually gone up.

Doctor Gongkang Fu is the chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. As an author on bridge design and evaluation, he says money is the key to fixing the issue.

"These bridges are not necessarily going to collapse, however some of them probably will if we don't do a good job. So, we need funding to get that problem addressed and early enough, so that kind of thing won't happen," said Dr. Gongkang Fu.

And it may need to come soon. Just a few months ago, concrete came tumbling down on Lower Wacker. Also, just two weeks ago the same happened from North Avenue onto Lake Shore Drive.

Another bridge on the list of structurally deficient in Chicago is the LaSalle Street Bridge. People passing over it couldn't believe such a highly traveled bridge would be on the list, but for different reasons.

Illinois Watchdog says the state is not putting in the funding it needs to fix these aging bridges.

"Maybe it's going to take a failed bridge, I hope not, but something is going to have to happen that makes people realize the state of Illinois has run out of money because it's spending billions and billions on pensions and we're still nowhere near the end of the billions we're going to have to pay," said Benjamin Yount, Illinois Watchdog Bureau Chief.

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