Leaders, community members discuss alternate routes, concerns for Murray Baker Bridge closure

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Murray Baker Bridge is about to go under a major construction project and local leaders want to make sure drivers are prepared for the closure.

The bridge will be closed starting March 29 for a rehab project. Work includes replacement of concrete deck, repair of structural steel members, zone painting, replacement of roadway lighting and decorative lighting, and install scour countermeasures in the river.

The work is expected to last through October.

On Friday, the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce hosted its ‘Eggs & Issues’ breakfast to explain alternate routes and discuss concerns.

“We have been through this before, you know when they shut down 74 to reconstruct it throughout this entire region, so this isn’t the first time. We actually lived through it and it wasn’t as bad as what people thought,” said East Peoria Mayor John Kahl.

Mayor Kahl also says the work on the bridge is necessary and is only a temporary inconvenience.

“For drivers, it’s obviously a delay, getting to work or if they work in Peoria, live in East Peoria, vice versa. But from a business perspective, a lot of the businesses down along the riverfront and levee district have some concerns because the traffic’s going to flow that way through the detour,” said Mayor Kahl.

Some of the alternate routes mentioned at the breakfast were detours on I-474 and IL Route 40.

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