Located north of downtown Peoria, the McClugage Bridge is the region’s second most-traveled river crossing, named for David H. McClugage, mayor of Peoria from 1937 to 1941. The McClugage is actually two bridges: one carrying westbound traffic and one carrying eastbound traffic. The original McClugage Bridge was designed in 1939 to replace the wood-floored Upper Free Bridge, but it was not completed until 1948 due to World War II.
Although it has been rehabilitated numerous times, the eastbound bridge—40 years older than its westbound counterpart—is nearing the end of its service life. In cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation has determined that its replacement will be necessary. The McClugage Bridge Project seeks to ensure the new bridge is safe and structurally sound, meets modern design standards and is designed for future traffic capacity. The new eastbound bridge will have three lanes instead of two, additional shoulder space on both sides, and a multi-use path accommodating pedestrians and bicyclists—connecting to existing bike paths on both sides of the river.
Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2019 and take four years to complete—at a cost of $210 million. Visit mcclugagebridgeproject.com to keep tabs on the project as it progresses. iBi