Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies and Long Grove firefighters responded just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29, 2021 to a report that a box truck hit the covered bridge and was stuck on the bridge over Buffalo Creek on Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove. Lake Count Sheriff’s Deputies discovered that the driver of a 2013 white Chevy van modified as a box truck crashed into the overhead portion of the bridge. Lake County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene about 4:30 p.m. and Long Grove firefighters were notified at 4:49 p.m. that Robert Parker Coffin Road was blocked.
The original one-lane bridge was built in 1906. The first bridge cover was added in 1972 to help preserve it from the elements and prevent heavy, oversize vehicles from crossing the bridge. The bridge, with clearance clearly marked and advanced warning on approach, has been struck a ridiculous amount of times since the original covered structure was demolished in a crash in June 2018. A major 2-year re-construction project built a new sturdier cover for the bridge, and the modern version of the bridge opened on Friday, August 14, 2020, but was damaged when the driver of a rented school but hit the covered bridge on Saturday, August 15, 2020 — less than 23 hours after a the grand re-opening celebration after the 2018 crash.
If the count is correct, there have been 16 crash with the bridge since the bridge was rebuilt and re-opened on Friday, August 14, 2021. After the crash with the bridge occurred on Friday, April 9, 2021, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported there had been 14 similar crashes since the bridge reopened August 2020.
The bridge now has a sturdier steel frame. The bridge is apparently less likely to collapse, and more likely to cause serious damage to any vehicle that attempts to pass while violating the height restriction. One witness at the scene said the older bridge clearance was slightly higher, and now with the lower clearance there have been more crashes. The updated clearance on the Robert Parker Coffin bridge is 8 feet, 6 inches.
Yesterday, damaged was considered minor, but the cosmetic damage to the covered bridge is significant.
The driver did not report any injuries, but was cited by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
The tires of the truck were deflated to lower the truck and free it from being wedged overhead.
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