Historic Long Grove Bridge Hit Again, For 41st Time Since 2020

The bridge has now been hit more than 40 times since reopening after a reconstruction project in 2020.

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A box truck smashed into the historic Long Grove bridge again, this time on Monday afternoon. The crash marks the 41st time the bridge has been hit since it was reconstructed in 2020.

"The bridge has got 40+ wins, the trucks 0," said Ryan Messner, president of Long Grove's downtown business association.

"Unfortunately it’s common sense not being so common."

The crash happened around 1 p.m. Monday. The 18-year-old driver was in a 15-foot box truck and tried to cross the bridge despite multiple warning signs about the 8-foot-6 clearance height.

"There are three signs coming both ways and obviously signage above the bridge," said Messner. "It’s lack of paying attention to your surroundings."

The box truck had significant damage, though the driver wasn't injured. The bridge has only minor cosmetic damage. Messner credits a reconstruction project designed to protect the bridge from serious damage.

"They encased the whole upper part of the bridge in steel, and then they rebuilt the cover around the steel. Now when someone hits it, they do more damage to their truck then they do to the bridge," said Messner.

The consistency of crashes is frustrating for residents, who at times have to deal with traffic bottlenecks and repairs.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office says based on the amount of damage to the truck, it’s possible the driver did not stop at the stop sign, just prior to the bridge. The driver was cited for disobeying a traffic control sign.

The 116-year-old bridge had just reopened Monday, following a renaming dedication ceremony on Thursday to honor the original architect, Robert Parker Coffin, as well as the village Apple Fest over the weekend.

Messner believes technology is to blame for the crashes.

"[The bridge] went 46 years without getting hit. Then all of a sudden, I think as technology evolved on phones, with Waze, Google Maps and all these different map programs giving direction and faster times, that’s when we started to see an increased activity on the bridge getting hit," said Messner.

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