Audit finds dozens of Illinois bridges not inspected on time

July 19, 2019

The state's Office of the Auditor General found 73 structures overdue for inspection

A recent compliance examination released by the Illinois Auditor General found that the Illinois DOT (IDOT) failed to conduct timely inspections of approximately 73 bridges—over the course of two years ending June 30, 2018. 

According to the audit, as of July 1, 2018, 28 bridges were overdue for a routine inspection. Of those 28 overdue inspections, five bridges were rated structurally deficient, and inspections ranged from one to four years overdue.

The report also found that 27 bridges in the state were overdue for a special inspection, five of which were overdue by more than two years. Twenty-four of those bridges were rated as structurally deficient.

The audit also notes that seven bridges were overdue for an underwater inspection, and 11 bridges were past due for a fracture critical inspection. Two local bridges due for a fracture critical inspection were overdue by 21 years. 

The Office of the Auditor General also says that IDOT did not maintain adequate controls over locally held funds, and did not adhere to various reporting requirements established by state law.

The Auditor General's office recommends in the audit that IDOT ensure bridge inspections are conducted and documentation is maintained to substantiate the inspections are completed within allowable intervals. According to the audit, IDOT agreed with the findings and recognized they still have more work to do. The agency said it will continue to stress the importance of timely inspections, particularly to local agencies.