Come with us on a journey, won't you? Deep into the heart of Uptown Country. You could go to Iowa to see the Bridges of Madison County, but why do that when can stay at home and check out our own? Just be sure to bring your hard-hat to protect you from crumbling concrete.
First up is the Wilson Avenue bridge at Lake Shore Drive. This bridge is long overdue for replacement. In the photo above, you can barely see temporary concrete barriers that have been added to both Wilson and Lawrence to keep cars from crashing through the side of the bridge and onto the traffic under the bridge below in the event of an accident.
Once under the Wilson Bridge, this is what you see:
Scary, huh? But trust us, it gets worse. How much traffic passes over these bridges in a day? There are quite a few of these "buttresses" under the bridge that look like this. The temporary white paint job that was given to the bridges last year has already started to crumble, rust, and fall off in most spots. Water is cascading down onto the streets below through the cracks in the cement and rebar above. A bad combination for sure. Let's journey a few blocks north to Lawrence now and see if this bridge is in any better condition.
Judging from the photo above, no such luck. The temporary concrete barriers on the Lawrence Avenue bridge are visible in this pic, protecting the decaying sides of the bridge from car impacts. Let's venture a bit closer and check it out.
Yikes! That pillar has seen better days. Let's go under the bridge and see if the buttresses are in any better shape.
Wow, this looks worse than Wilson! We can see water pouring down from Lake Shore Drive above all over here. We sure hope we are nowhere near this bridge when it decides it can't take anymore. While we were out, we thought we would check out the Foster Avenue Bridge and the Belmont Avenue bridge. We can report that they were nowhere NEAR the state of decay that these two bridges are in. If you plan to attend the Lawrence/Wilson Viaduct Meeting on April 28 at 6pm at Truman College, we hope you will ask those from CDOT if these bridges will be replaced or if there will be another sort of temporary fix for these bridges that involves tar and something to plug the holes in the bridge to keep the water from cascading below. Inquiring minds would like to know. We hope you enjoyed our tour. If you are out and about, we encourage you to check out the condition of these bridges and compare them to neighboring bridges over Lake Shore Drive.