Clark Bridge inspections June 23-26; slight risk severe weather potential this weekend

Posted: 2014/06/20 in fire, IDOT, Weather

If that Route 3 ramp being closed is not enough, IDOT has decided to announce that June 23 through 26 there will be off-peak lane restrictions on the Clark Bridge for bridge inspections.  It will be June 23 and 24 from 09:00 to 15:00 for Southbound; June 25 and 26 for Northbound from 07:00 to 15:00.  The inspections are weather permitting.

Speaking of weather, there is Slight Risk for severe weather (at least 15% chance a thunderstorm will exhibit damaging winds or >1″ hail) for Saturday and maybe Sunday as well.  The NWS published the recent odds this morning for Saturday:

june21severe Sunday forecast is still pending at this time.  The weather forecast for last weekend was a bit of a bust as the strong stuff missed the area, but with high humidity and highs forecast into the 90s the fuel for strong storms is there.

The weather is getting hotter and that means the risk of tire blowouts do increase, especially from tractor-trailers.  Yesterday there was a series of incidents on I-55 in South County – all it started was a tire from a tractor-trailer to catch on fire.  What followed was one of the craziest traffic days down there – shutting down 55 from the 270/255 interchange all the way down towards 141 at one point – and there are just 2 alternate routes for I-55 in that area (Lemay Ferry Road and Route 141).  This crazy chain of events could happen anywhere on a given summer day – and the last time such traffic chaos truly happened here was 10 years ago this August – between the Riverview and Lilac exits that shut down 270 for over 12 hours, forced traffic through Alton even though it did not happen on the river bridge, and made headlines in the Alton Telegraph.  The differences between the two incidents was there was no Facebook or Twitter back in 2004. (The December 2010 incident on the river bridge, on the other hand, happened on a morning that the temperatures were in the teens and was triggered by a different circumstance.)

What could you do to get around it? You had to go through Alton or back through downtown. The incidents don’t need to happen on the river or canal bridge to cause big problems – the incident in August 2004 proved it.



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