Work begins to replace Pinecrest bridge over I-74 in East Peoria

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – An overpass that has posed issues for some truck drivers is being replaced, beginning Friday, March 5.

Constructed 62 years ago, IDOT officials say the bridge on Pinecrest Drive over I-74 is due for renovations.

“It was built in 1959 so based on the age and the condition, it was time for a new bridge,” said Robert Hack, construction field engineer with IDOT.

At its current height of 14 feet 3 inches, the overpass has created difficulties for drivers, with multiple instances of semis slamming into the overpass.

Now, over $9 million dollars in funding from the Rebuild Illinois program will help raise the structure by two feet.

“The new bridge will be built to the current standards which will give the advantage of not having the clearance issues that are there now,” Hack said.

While under construction, Hack says the project will have impact travel near the area.

“You’ll see lane closures at night on 74, Pinecrest will be in the condition it’s in today (Friday), which is a lane in each direction.”

Sitting just down the road from the Pinecrest bridge is East Peoria Fire Station 4.

The fire chief says construction does not alter if emergencies will be responded to, but it could change how.

“We may have a different station from a different area of the city respond to that area to make sure we’re responding as quickly as we can,” said Chief John Knapp, East Peoria Fire Department.

Knapp says making changes because of construction is no different than being out on multiple calls at once.

“I think the key is being fluid. We’re very used to moving things around when we need to,” he said.

Hack says the work to the overpass will be done in phases and the entire project is expected to be completed in November.

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