SAVANNA – The next major upkeep work for the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge shouldn't keep it closed as long as the last time.
Illinois Department of Transportation engineers plan to let bids June 14 for a bridge deck overlay project at the bridge, which carries U.S. Highway 52 over the Mississippi to Sabula, Iowa. The estimated $1.2 million project will consist of spraying a polymer sealer onto the bridge, and help lengthen its lifespan.
"It'll seal it to keep chlorides out from salt on the road," Becky Marruffo, a studies and plans engineer with IDOT's District 2 office in Dixon, said.
With a 45-day bid period, work is expected to start in August, and take about 2 months to complete, Marruffo said.
Signals will be put up, with one lane closed to allow for work to proceed.
The $81 million bridge between Sabula and Savanna opened in November 2017, but was closed in February 2018 after a 50-foot section of an attached 350-foot causeway just east of Sabula collapsed.
The bridge was first scheduled to reopen in May 2018, but that was pushed to July because of problems with sandy soil. That timeline was pushed back again to Sept. 3, after high water levels caused the project contractor to wait on completing the bridge pier caps.
A free ferry was put into use to help commuters with a 36-mile detour to the bridges at Clinton, Iowa. The bridge fully opened on Aug. 31, 2018.