TV 6 Investigates: The Quad City's Worst Bridge - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

TV 6 Investigates: The Quad City's Worst Bridge

Updated: Aug 1, 2013 10:14 PM
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Five bridges tie the Quad Cities together.

Many of us travel across at least one of them daily and for many, I-74 causes plenty of headaches.

However, its neighbor downstream is in much worse condition.

The Illinois inspection report reveals a bridge with major problems.

State inspectors examine every piece of a bridge from its piers underneath the water to the top of its structure above the road.

They assign a score from 0 to 100 based on that inspection.

For example, the I-74 bridges scored a 58.3 and 60.4.

They are obsolete, but for now remain structurally sound.

Centennial is both obsolete and structurally deficient.

Scoring a 3.4 out of 100.

That number surprised Cory Maynard, who was relaxing on the Centennial Bridge Thursday. He takes it a lot.

"Quite often because I don't drive, so usually I just either ride my bike, or I have to go take a bus."

Maynard travels across the Centennial Bridge about four times a week. He likes spending time in Davenport and Centennial is his quickest route across the Mississippi.

"I never felt unsafe, but now that you mention, they do a lot more work on I-74 than they do here," says Maynard.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says I-74 has been the focus for years because it carries more traffic per day and when there are accidents, it causes more headaches, but Centennial is actually rated worse.

"It's falling apart, it needs to be repaired, the state or the city need to get on the job, before it falls down," says Lafayette Crump.

He crosses Centennial about three times a week. It's still safe to cross, but the bridge's scores have decreased over the last ten years. The latest inspection report shows the superstructure scores a three, serious condition. The structural evaluation is another three, intolerable. High priority for correction. Even where Centennial's piers meet the water rates a three, critical condition.

"Maybe so but you got to remember this bridge is from the early 1900's and it came from the great generation, so it's depreciating, it needs to be repaired, simple as that," says Crump.

Rust covers the railings, where the metal flakes. In some cases you can see the Mississippi through holes on the bridge. The Illinois DOT says it intended to repair the bridge this season, but decided to wait for this week's inspection. Once it's complete, the state expects to issue a significant repair contract for the bridge in the fall. With repairs potentially starting next summer.

The DOT says Centennial will most likely be up for replacement after I-74 is done.

The state has the power to close a bridge at any time if inspections deem it unsafe.

Illinois closed the I-80 bridge over the Mississippi river in 2009 after an inspection revealed a crack in a beam.

Illinois posts its bridge inspection information here. Iowa is at this link.