Two west Champaign bridges set for replacement

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Work is expected to start in the coming weeks to replace two bridges over the Kaskaskia River west of Champaign.

Champaign Township Highway Commissioner Keith Padgett said the bridges include:

Kirby Avenue between South Rising and South Barker roads.Windsor Road, also between South Rising and South Barker roads.

Padgett said the Kirby Avenue bridge work could begin as soon as Monday.

He said two different contractors have been hired, so work on both projects could be ongoing at the same time.

If so, motorists who normally use those roads will be looking elsewhere to navigate their east-west journeys.

“Curtis Road will still be open, and Route 10 will still be open,” Padgett said.

The Kirby Avenue bridge handles an average of 450 vehicles a day, according to Padgett, while the Windsor Road bridge sees 350 vehicles use it daily. He didn’t know how long the work is projected to take.

Padgett said inspections of the bridges show they are due for replacement.

“Maybe those bridges were put in in the ’70s, and there’s iron bars (in the concrete),” Padgett said. “Over the years, those iron bars rust, and when they rust, they swell up.

“The flutes on the bottom of the bridge pop the concrete off, and now you’ve got a bridge not safe to travel on.”

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