PEORIA — If you've crossed one of the bridges in Peoria in the last few weeks, you've probably noticed the lane reductions.
They've been in place over the past month first on the McClugage Bridge and then on the Cedar Street Bridge for "bridge washing" by employees under contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
That work on the latter bridge continues into the coming week.
So, what is bridge washing, exactly?
It's done "to remove road salt and excess debris," IDOT spokeswoman Jessie Decker said this week. "It helps prevent further deterioration and makes bridge inspections easier."
It cleans out the drains, deck, underside — including the beams and the truss if, like the McClugage, the bridge has one.
Crews of about six people do the work, Decker said.
And the work was done on the McClugage even though construction on a replacement for the eastbound span is set to begin next year. That's because the current eastbound bridge is expected to remain in use until the new one is constructed, and won't be demolished until about 2023, Decker said.
"We want to ensure proper maintenance is done while the public is still using this structure, which includes yearly inspections," Decker said.