Local bridge construction leads to delays and detours


Reporter- Briana Conner
Photographer- Randall Barnes

MASSAC COUNTY, Ky.— A local bridge construction project has more traffic rerouting through Brookport, Illinois, a city still dealing with problems stemming from the November tornado. A construction engineer with I-DOT says the construction will be sticking around until at least early summer.

The cold weather is slowing work crews down. They're in the middle of replacing joints right now. Then they have to resurface the bridge on both sides before they're finished. It's a long process that's leaving local drivers dealing with detours and delays.

Flashing lights, orange barricades, and backups are all too familiar for mother-of-three Heather Alvey. She said, "I'm back and forth on average three times a day, sometimes four." According to her, the traffic is worst right around the time for school pick up. "If the traffic's backed up and doesn't appear to be moving at all, sometimes I'll go through Brookport."

That's an idea that's catching on, and it's also the reason Brookport Police Chief John Barr keeps officers watching the bridge. He said, "We're getting more of the oddball violations, the expired registrations, and license plates." Barr said more traffic is also causing more crashes. "We would do good to handle one accident a year in this small town. I've handled six since the construction started, and that's just myself during the day shift."

Those words came from a concerned chief and a busy mother who are both ready for the road work to wrap up. "It will be a lot better when it's finished, that's for sure," said Alvey.

Brookport's traffic team is stretched thin right now. There is a full time officer position open. People can pick up applications at the department or city hall. You can also send your resume to Chief Barr by email: bpd62910@gmail.com