Letter: Rebuild bridge to limit crashes

 
Updated 8/8/2022 11:40 AM

The best way to protect against mistakes is to prevent the possibility of making the mistake.

The Japanese term Poka-Yoke refers to designing something to make it impossible for an error to occur. This concept is superior to reliance on instructions or signs to warn of the possibility of making a mistake, and putting the burden on the person to not make the mistake.

 

Regarding the Long Grove bridge: We have heard time after time about buses or trucks crashing into the newly fabricated cover of the bridge.

According to the news articles, drivers ignore multiple warning signs and crash into the bridge cover with alarming regularity. Long Grove officials seem proud that the newly designed structure underneath the wooden planking is reinforced with steel beams to withstand these impacts.

I have lived in the area for more than 50 years and don't remember hearing about vehicles crashing into the bridge before it was rebuilt in recent years. Is it possible that the architects who designed the new bridge cover made a mistake and failed to build the bridge cover high enough to accommodate modern vehicle traffic?

Removing the possibility of making the mistake is far superior to constantly repairing the bridge after each mistake.

The curious part is that the historic significance of the bridge has nothing to do with the cover -- it is a steel truss bridge -- the historic significance has to do with what is under the bridge, not what is above it. If anything, the cover is a detriment to the historical aspects of the bridge.

I think the village would be better off rebuilding the bridge cover to allow tall vehicles to pass through without hitting the bridge cover, rather than building more and more "safeguards" to keep motorists from making the same mistake over and over.

Kevin Cloonan

Round Lake

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