State Watchdog Says Dozens of Illinois Bridges Overdue For Critical Inspections

The report says Illinois Department of Transportation officials agreed with the findings

A state watchdog says the Illinois Department of Transportation is up to 21 years overdue in inspecting dozens of bridges across the state.

Among the findings of the Illinois Auditor General:

• 28 bridges were overdue for a routine inspection, five of those rated as structurally deficient.

• 27 bridges were overdue for "special inspections," often prompted by structural damage or deterioration. Of those, 24 were rated as structurally deficient, five were overdue by more than two years.

• 7 bridges were as many as 19 years overdue for underwater inspections. Two of those, which had not been inspected in 17 years, were rated as structurally deficient.

• 11 bridges were overdue for fracture-critical inspections, examinations of components whose failure could be expected to result in the collapse of all or a portion of the bridge. Two of those were over 21 years overdue.

The Auditor General’s office noted that some of those bridges are the responsibility of neighboring states but recommended IDOT follow up with the proper authorities in those states to determine why their inspections had not been completed.

The report says IDOT officials agreed with the findings and stated "they recognize that while they have made significant strides with the bridge inspection delinquencies over the last several years, they still have more work to do and will continue to stress the importance of timely inspections particularly to the local agencies."

In other findings, the Auditor General faulted IDOT for failure to maintain adequate controls over state vehicles. While most of those findings concerned inadequate documentation of how the vehicles were used, they noted that one car had no record of ever having its oil changed, and another had been driven 5,965 miles after an oil change was required.

In response, IDOT said "employee work demands and the unavailability of the Department of Central Management Services garage, led to the instances of overdue vehicle maintenance."

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