By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
FLORENCE, Ill. -- The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Monday that it has awarded a $1.099 million contract to repair the Florence Bridge, which has been closed since June because of structural issues discovered during an inspection.
Weather permitting, the bridge could open by early spring.
The contractor, Midwest Foundation Corp. of Tremont, has begun obtaining materials and equipment and will start construction soon.
The construction consists of structural steel repair of the damaged tower, removal and replacement of the sheave wheels, trunnion axles, bearings and wire ropes.
IDOT also said that two ongoing fabrication contracts are proceeding as planned.
WireCo WorldGroup will fabricate new wire cables to support the lift span, while G&G Steel will recondition replacement sheave wheels and fabricating new bearings. Both are required to deliver the components by late January.
The bridge crosses the Illinois River connecting the Pike and Scott counties. The vertical lift bridge opened in 1929.
IDOT is in the preliminary phases of eventually replacing the bridge.