Ruby Street bridge to reopen this fall
By Brian Stanley Bstanley@stmedianetwork.com September 8, 2012 7:22PM
A view of the progress on the Ruby St. bridge Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:11AM
JOLIET — Anyone who needs to take Thanksgiving dinner across the Des Plaines River should be able to take their regular route.
The Illinois Department of Transportation says repair work on the Ruby Street bridge is on schedule to be completed in mid-November.
The bridge closed July 9 and has required traffic to detour to Cass and Jefferson streets on the east side and Theodore Street on the west.
The bridge is being painted and crews are using tarps to keep sandblasting material or paint from getting out, IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said.
“Once that’s complete in the next four to five weeks, there will be a lot of work that won’t necessarily be visible to the public,” Tridgell said.
The $2.1 million project then will require mechanical work on the underside of the bridge and sump pump replacement.
“Once that’s complete, we’ll tighten the bridge deck and replace the timber sidewalks,” Tridgell said.
There also will be maintenance work done on the bridge tender’s house.
The bridge was constructed in 1935 as a double-leaf trunnion bascule with two pony trusses. The bridge tender’s house was severely damaged in 1968 after being struck by two barges.
In the mid-1980s IDOT and the city considered replacing the structure with a high-level bridge but decided to close and renovate the bridge between March 1988 and September 1989.
Painting, electrical repairs and bridge deck replacement totaling $3.1 million kept the bridge closed from August 2002 to May 2003.