It happened AGAIN: Truck damages Long Grove bridge's cover
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Yep -- it happened again.
For the second time since its grand reopening on Friday, the Long Grove covered bridge was damaged on Wednesday by a passing box truck that was too tall to safely clear the wooden facade atop the opening.
Sgt. Chris Covelli of the Lake County sheriff's office said the damage was not severe and that traffic never stopped. Repairs, however, will need to be made ... again.
"It's been a tough couple of years for the bridge," Covelli said.
Wednesday's damage -- coming on the heels of Saturday's damage caused by a school bus -- occurred about 1:20 p.m. when a truck from a medical supply company traveling west on Robert Parker Coffin Road clipped the bridge's facade.
The driver, a 29-year-old Chicago man, kept driving after striking the facade because he thought the noise he heard came from shifting cargo in the back of the truck, Covelli said.
A witness to the event reported the license plate to the police, Covelli said, and the driver returned to the scene after authorities tracked him down.
June Neumann, who owns Viking Treasures near the covered bridge in Long Grove, on Wednesday was talking to ABC 7 Chicago about hearing the school bus collide with the new bridge cover. During the interview, she heard the second collision. The sound is heard on the ABC 7 report.
The driver, who kept to the right side of the crossing because he thought it was a two-lane road, told authorities his GPS did not warn him not to pass over the bridge given the truck's height -- as police reported it warned the school bus driver on Saturday.
Long Grove officials are considering installing barriers on both sides of the bridge to protect the bridge, ABC 7 reported. Long Grove Village Manager David Lothspeich told ABC 7 the rebuilt steel reinforcements are keeping the bridge structurally sound.
"People size it up and sometimes they don't size it up correctly, and they still go regardless of whether or not it's overweight or oversize," Lothspeich said.
While no citations were issued on Wednesday, Covelli said the driver could still be cited based on the result of an ongoing investigation. Charges are pending against the bus driver, who accepted full responsibility.
The bridge reopened with a ceremony on Friday after being closed for two years due to severe damage caused by a box truck on June 27, 2018, soon after it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge has been there for 114 years. The first cover was added in 1972 to help preserve the bridge and limit traffic from trucks and other heavy vehicles.
The village's out-of-pocket cost to repair the bridge from the 2018 box truck incident was about $589,000. A $250,000 state grant, $195,000 from an insurance claim related to the crash and more than $53,000 from a historical society donation helped cover the cost.
Repairs to the cover after the bus hit the bridge were estimated to take a month. There was not yet a cost estimate.
Two sets of signs on each side of the bridge tell truck and bus drivers not to use the bridge and turn onto escape routes instead, one leading to Route 53 and the other to Old McHenry Road.
"I think what goes through all of our minds is like, 'Wow, these people. What are they doing?'" Long Grove resident Ben Finch, who saw Wednesday's collision, told ABC 7.