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Interstate 180 bridge to get a fresh face

HENNEPIN — The Gudmund Jessen bridge carrying Interstate 180 over the Illinois River at Hennepin will be getting a paint touch-up this year.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the work of painting the structural steel beneath the bridge is scheduled to last 35 working days. The contractor will need to be certified and capable of containment and disposal of lead paint cleaning residues.

This particular project is more of a stopgap measure to cover the worst areas on the bridge. A full repainting of the bridge is currently not on the schedule since funds for such a task are currently unavailable.

“The work that’s being done is some repainting above two of the piers and underneath the expansion joints,” said Joe Kennel, a representative from IDOT’s District 3 office in Ottawa, which is overseeing the project. “The funding comes from a maintenance fund that’s available for jobs like this.”

The areas being repainted are where most of the salt and water comes through the seams in the bridge and onto the steel.

The engineers’ estimated cost on the project is about $210,000. Single-lane closures are likely during the work.

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