The Long Grove Bridge is a historic one lane covered bridge that crosses Buffalo Creek just outside of downtown Long Grove. The beloved bridge has had an eventful past few years, being closed at various times for oversized vehicle impact damage, a major rehabilitation, and most recently a fractured welded connection.

The bridge, believed to have been constructed between 1900 and 1910, originally consisted of a steel pin-connected pony truss supported on limestone abutments, a bridge construction technique common to this period. The popular timber cover was added to the bridge in 1973.

Recently, the limestone abutments had deteriorated to such a poor condition that they needed to be repaired and ultimately replaced to allow the bridge to remain open to traffic. Civiltech has performed structural inspections of the bridge, including the routine and fracture critical NBIS inspection, since the summer of 2015. Civiltech also developed the repairs to extend the service life of the deteriorating abutments. After a vehicle impact resulted in the removal of the heavily damaged cover, Civiltech developed a rehabilitation concept of replacing the aging limestone abutments with pile supported concrete abutments and reconstructing the cover to significantly extend the bridge’s useful life.

Before and After: Fractured Welded Connection on Low Chord Member Replaced with Bolted Connection.

The latest event in this bridge’s eventful life was the discovery of a fractured welded connection during a scheduled fracture critical inspection. Upon finding the fractured connection, Civiltech contacted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to close the bridge until the fracture susceptible connections could be replaced with more resilient bolted connections. Civiltech is proud of having provided engineering services to help maintain this important structure. We are now looking forward to many uneventful years of service for this bridge – a tremendous source of community pride.

For additional background on the Long Grove Historic Covered Bridge, please visit the Long Grove Historical Society.