Why do people keep hitting the Long Grove covered bridge?

Sarah Schulte Image
Monday, April 12, 2021
Who do people keep hitting the Long Grove covered briidge?
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Orange warning flags are posted every few feet, there's 'no trucks or buses' signs and signs showing the low clearance, and yet people keep hitting Long Grove's covered bridge.

LONG GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- There are orange warning flags posted every few feet, "No truck or buses" signs and plenty of signage warning of the 8 ft. 6 in. clearing, yet people keep hitting the Long Grove covered bridge.

"It keeps happening and we are not really sure why," said Terri Taylor of Ma & Pa's Candy.

RELATED: Historic Long Grove covered bridge hit twice in less than 1 week after lengthy rebuild

Vehicles just keep crashing into the historic Long Grove covered bridge. The latest incident happened Friday, when a U-Haul truck got stuck. It was the 14th time the bridge has been hit since it reopened last August. It had been closed for two years to repair it from major damage from the previous crash.

"Luckily, we have the problem solved, we don't have to spend a lot of money rebuilding the bridge all the time," said John Kopecky, Country House.

RELATED: Long Grove bridge hit again for 13th time since reopening last summer

The bridge was rebuilt with steel reinforcements so now the vehicle takes the brunt of the damage, not the bridge.

While nearby businesses are perplexed by the number of crashes, owners admit the publicity does give them a bit of a boost.

RELATED: Historic Long Grove bridge badly damaged by truck is 'punch to the gut'

"It's a spectacle that brings people into town," Taylor said.

"We had a great day on Sunday!" said Kopecky, with a laugh.

The local brewery, Buffalo Creek Brewing, has named beers after previous crashes. For the latest, the business is holding in a naming contest on its Facebook page.

RELATED: Covered bridge in Long Grove majorly damaged days after historic landmark designation

In the ongoing battle of vehicle vs. bridge, Long Grove officials believe GPS systems looking for the shortest route may be responsible for navigating drivers through the bridge. Friday's U-Haul driver told police he was following his GPS and didn't see the signs.

While it's likely to happen again, business owners are confident their iconic landmark is here to stay.

"I think we are going to win this battle, I really do," Kopecky said.