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Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to approve a $163,000 contract for emergency repairs to the Central Street Bridge over the North Shore Channel.

In a memo to alderman, Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says the Illinois Department of Transportation informed the city last April that there is “severe deterioration” of concrete in columns on the bridge just above a construction joint.

At IDOT’s request, the city posted a 15 ton weight limit on the bridge and started preparing design plans for the repair work.

Bids for the repairs came in at more than double an engineer’s estimate, but staff is recommending award of the contract to the low bidder, Alliance Contractors Inc. of Woodstock.

Robinson says the deterioration means an unknown amount of the core concrete in the columns has washed away, compromising the load-carrying capacity of the columns.

She says a variety of factors may have contributed to the deterioration, ranging from freeze-thaw cycles to poor consolidation of the concrete during the original construction.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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