The pending replacement of the bridge on North Rodgers Street in Alton that carries traffic over the West Fork of Wood River Creek will begin with engineering and a number of environmental studies before any construction can begin. It is an aging structure, and a recent examination revealed it meets the standards for replacement. The bridge was originally built when roads were much narrower.
It received an overhaul in the 1980's according to city engineer Dave Godar with Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab. He says something interesting was discovered at that time.
He says the cost to fix the bridge would be close to the cost to completely replace it, so the city is going with the replacement option. A number of studies and forms must be completed as part of the process of satisfying IDOT, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other entities. The cost of engineering was called into question by 3rd Ward Alderman Mike Velloff, who is also an engineer. The measure barely passed the Committee of the Whole on a 3-2 vote. Velloff and Mick McCahill were the ones voting in opposition. Aldermen Jim Ryan and Gary Fleming were absent. The full council will deal with this and other issues tomorrow night at 7:30.