Some 200 bridges throughout Illinois are in need of replacement or repair because of their outdated, insufficient design and their advanced deterioration. Those bridges range from spans over the Mississippi to overpasses around Chicago. An Associated Press review of national bridge records found that some 7,795 bridges nationwide are classed as both "fracture critical" and "structurally deficient." It's a combination that experts say is especially problematic. However, the head of Illinois' Bureau of Bridges and Structures says the public shouldn't be worried. He says if a bridge is open it's safe. Illinois' at-risk bridges include the span over the Des Plaines River south of Joliet along Interstate 80. The west-bound and east-bound bridges were built in 1965 and now carry an average of 37,000 cars and trucks each day.
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