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      Mechanical issues close Florence Bridge

      An inspection revealed problems with a bearing that left the bridge unsafe.

      UPDATED: June 29 at 5 p.m.

      One of the businesses that is affected by the closure is the Cargill grain elevator located just south of Illinois 106.

      Dan McClenning is the plant manager and he said about 80% of their grain comes from the east side of the bridge.

      He went on to say that before the bridge was shut down, they had steady truck traffic coming to their scales. But once the bridge was shuttered, they had just a few trucks come through.

      McClenning said they average about 30 trucks a day before the closure, but as of 11 a.m. on Friday, only 4 to 5 trucks had visited the elevator to dump grain.

      "Since we get about 80% of our customers from the east side of the bridge, they're going to go somewhere else since they can't add additional fuel costs to their bottom line," McClenning said.

      The last closure of the bridge for an extended period of time was back in May of 2009.

      The bridge was closed for three months when a tow and a group of barges southbound on the river slammed into a protective cell and also into one of the permanent spans.

      The bridge ended up being closed for three months while repair were made.

      Stay with us as we continue to follow this bridge closure.

      -------------------

      The Florence Bridge in Pike and Scott counties is closed due to problems with the drawbridge's structure.

      The the Illinois Route 106 bridge that spans the Illinois River will remain closed for an undetermined time frame, Illinois Department of Transportation bridge inspection engineer Dave Copenbarger said.

      An inspection revealed problems with a bearing that left the bridge unsafe.

      ??The engineer recommended that we close it,?? Copenbarger said.

      Detours to the Interstate 72 bridge are recommended for anyone who needs to cross.

      River traffic will remain open which mean the draw bridge must remain in the ??up?? position.

      IDOT is currently conducting a feasibility study to decide what to do with the bridge that was built in 1929. There is currently no money earmarked for the project.

      ??We'll do what we can to get it back open,?? Copenbarger said.