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Illinois Bridge unharmed by heavy rains

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 5:08 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:32 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The Illinois Bridge in downtown St. Charles reopened last week after the city determined it hadn't sustained damage from the high water and floating debris, Public Works Director Mark Koenen said.

"We're in good shape," he said Monday.

The bridge reopened Thursday, a week after it closed because of heavy rains, Koenen said, noting the city conducted a safety inspection before opening it to traffic. Damage can occur from the river if it gets high enough and from large debris, such as picnic tables, that could get washed downstream, he said.

Other roadways affected by the heavy rains have since been reopened, though some bike trail systems still have water on them Koenen said. Now, he said, the city is working on clearing off debris, mud and sediment from pavement once under water.

The wet weather has also delayed the opening of Red Gate Bridge's pedestrian and bicycle crossing, Koenen said, describing site conditions as muddy. Railings need to be installed, and a path to the boardwalk system has yet to be built, he said.

Koenen said the city plans to reschedule the crossing's ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was originally scheduled for Saturday.

Koenen said the city appreciated motorists' response to the heavy rainfall.

"We should acknowledge people were driving more cautiously," he said. "We did witness it around the community."

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