Long Grove covered bridge hit yet again -- the 35th time since 2020
Long Grove's iconic covered bridge was struck by another vehicle too tall to fit under the structure Saturday morning -- the 35th such collision since the bridge's reconstruction was completed in 2020, village officials said.
Village Manager Greg Jackson said a U-Haul truck failed to clear the bridge while driving along Robert Parker Coffin Road at about 10:15 a.m. Saturday.
The truck received the brunt of the damage, Jackson said. The bridge, which has a clearance of eight feet six inches, suffered minor damage.
"We had a little bit of gouging from the tire rims," Jackson said. "It wasn't anything that was compromising the structure."
The village had its civil engineer examine the bridge and no structural damage was found, he added.
The bridge was rebuilt with protective material to minimize damage when it is hit.
"The metal up on top underneath the canopy in essence peels back the top of the truck and stops the truck," Jackson said. "These vehicles probably get, depending on their speed, maybe a yard underneath the bridge, if they even get that far, before they're stopped."
The Lake County sheriff's office issued a citation to the driver, a Lisle resident, who faces a possible $750 fine for failing to obey a traffic routing device, Jackson added.
Jackson said the village will continue to explore additional measures to prevent the bridge from being hit, such as an overhead detection system that would sense when a truck of a certain height approached the bridge and warn the driver.
"We have already had some engineers look at that and price that out for us," he said.
But that carries potential issues for neighbors, including the use of lights and bells.
Hang bars, similar to those used in Chicago parking garages, are another possible solution. But that poses a possible issue of aesthetics.
Jackson said there is no substitute for drivers simply being able to read the signs near the bridge informing them of the height restrictions ahead.