Editorials

Bridge work is two years late, $6 million over budget, one big disappointment

Illinois 15 bridge work near Belleville

Work continues on the westbound Illinois 15 bridge near the Charles Street exit to Belleville. Both eastbound and westbound lanes of 15 are down to one lane in each direction as traffic shares the newly-completed eastbound bridge.
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Work continues on the westbound Illinois 15 bridge near the Charles Street exit to Belleville. Both eastbound and westbound lanes of 15 are down to one lane in each direction as traffic shares the newly-completed eastbound bridge.

Ahead of time and under budget is the construction project ideal. Late and under budget is still fine. Late and over budget is not so good.

The Illinois 15 bridge project southeast of downtown Belleville is at least $6 million over budget and two years late. That’s a 42-percent cost overrun and double the promised time.

Now they are promising completion by August. Anyone holding their breath?

The time delay isn’t a mystery to any drivers who have passed through the construction zone during the past four years. It usually looked like a ghost town with no discernible progress.

But now they are in high gear. And a lawsuit will fix the cost issue, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“We will be seeking reimbursement due to errors committed by our design consultant and are confident we will be successful doing so,” said IDOT spokeswoman Kelsea Gurski.

The Illinois 15 bridges were designed by STV Inc., which was paid more than $667,000. No one from the firm returned a call to comment.

Silence is understandable.

Making $6 million worth of mistakes is less so.

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