Ruby Street bridge opens; was shut down in July for repairs, painting
By Bob Okon email@example.com February 18, 2013 9:28AM
Traffic flows over the Ruby Street bridge after it was opened this morning following months of repairs in Joliet, Illinois, Monday, February 18, 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 20, 2013 11:08AM
The Ruby Street bridge reopened Monday in downtown Joliet, marking the end of a seven-month repair and repainting job.
“We’re mighty glad it’s open. That’s for sure,” said Tim Kanive, manager of the Rental Max on the downtown side of the bridge.
Kanive was speaking for many people whose normal driving habits were interrupted by the bridge job that started in July and ran past completion dates once set for November and then set for Jan. 1 before workers met the last target date of Feb. 18.
For Rental Max and its customers the bridge closing had been an inconvenience creating detours from normal driving routes. It was the topic of conversation at the store.
“Every day, almost everyone was asking when it was going to open,” Kanive said.
The last seven months have not been the longest the Ruby Street bridge has been down, said Kanive, whose family has been in the rental business downtown since his father Edward Sr. started United Rent-alls in 1954, who remembers the bridge being down for 18 months one time. That was in the mid-1980s.
Repairs this time around included mechanical work on the underside, sump pump replacement, and maintenance of the bridge tender’s house. It is not unusual for work on the drawbridges over the Des Plaines River to extend longer than predicted, since replacement parts typically have to be custom-made when new problems are found.
The bridge also was repainted.
While the closings of the downtown bridges usually give rise to lots of grumbling by motorists forced to take detours for months at a time, Kanive paid respect to the paint job done on the Ruby Street bridge.
“Whatever company painted this one, they did a hell of a good job,” he said. “I walked over there to check out a few things.”