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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
McClugage Bridge
Illinois River Highway Crossing
Peoria, IL

McClugage Bridge

Eastbound Span
• Structure ID: NBI 000090007019729
• Highways: US-24 (Eastbound), US-150 (Eastbound)
• Bridge Length: 4,745 Feet, 536 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 29 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Date Built: Opened July 1949
 
Westbound Span
• Structure ID: NBI 000090011505461
• Highways: US-24 (Westbound), US-150 (Westbound)
• Bridge Length: 4,745 Feet, 626 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 39 Feet, 3 Lanes
• Date Built: 1982
 
Statistics Common To Both Spans
• Location: River Mile 165.7
• River Elevation: 440 Feet
• Daily Traffic Count: 40,400 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Steel Truss Through Deck, Twin Parallel Spans
• Navigation Channel Width: 411 Feet
• Height Above Water: 66 Feet
The original McClugage Bridge was designed in 1939, but construction had to wait until after World War II was over. The bridge is 4,745 feet long with a 536 foot wide main span. It carries two lanes of traffic with no shoulders. The bridge became overwhelmed with traffic, so a second bridge was built in the early 1980s, opening in 1983. This bridge was the same length, 4,745 feet, but it has a much longer main span at 626 feet. This bridge was built for two lanes plus shoulders, but has since been painted for three lanes.

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.


McClugage Bridge
McClugage Bridge
McClugage Bridge
McClugage Bridge
McClugage Bridge

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