The older span was refurbished in 1980. Major work needed to be done in the early 2000s. Money was made available from the Illinois FIRST fund, which is a fund for critical infrastructure. The bridge needed to have the floor system replaced and work done on the braces under the floor, plus sandblasting and painting. The project ran through the years 2005 to 2007.
Given that the McClugage Bridge is the second most busy river crossing in the Peoria area, losing two lanes during the construction project would cause real traffic problems. To keep traffic flowing, Illinois DOT put K-blocks down the middle of the newer span. This created 2 lanes in one direction and 1 lane in the opposite direction. This plan would be acceptable for one daily rush hour, but would cause monumental backups for the other rush hour. The solution was to employ a machine that is able to move K-blocks on the fly. This machine would set up the morning rush with 2 lanes heading westbound. This after the rush hour, the machine would cross the bridge and move the K-blocks so there was only 1 westbound lane and two eastbound lanes for afternoon outbound traffic. While this was not a perfect solution, it worked well enough that it was tolerable to allow the older span to be closed for repair work.
The bridges are named after David H. McClugage, the mayor of Peoria from 1937 to 1941. A construction accident in 2000 during a routine maintenance project saw three iron workers fall to their deaths. There was an effort to renamed these bridges to be the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge. In the end, a historical marker was posted, and the bridge maintained its name.