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updated: 2/15/2012 8:56 AM

Elk Grove Village a step closer to getting pedestrian bridge for Higgins Road

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Elk Grove Village officials are seeking funding for a project to build a bridge across Higgins Road just east of Route 53 so pedestrians, bikers and in-line skaters can safely access Busse Woods' trails and bike paths.

The village has been working with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, which has agreed to donate the land needed to build the bridge, Mayor Craig Johnson said Tuesday night.

The project also has support from neighboring Schaumburg.

"This is the last section that needs a bridge so people can completely utilize the forest preserve paths without crossing any arterials," Johnson said. "It's a safety issue."

Busse Woods gets more than 2 million visitors yearly, Johnson said.

"It's a beautiful facility," Johnson said adding, the forest preserve district resurfaced all the paths a couple of years ago. "That is really a gem of a forest preserve."

Village employees also need to access the woods during emergencies, Johnson said.

"We are the first responders for fire and paramedics and backup for police," he said.

Elk Grove Village already has spent $450,000 in grant funding secured through U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's office to complete the engineering work for the bridge project.

Construction of the bridge is anticipated to cost roughly $3.3 million and the village will be seeking state and federal grants as it has with past bridge projects, Johnson said.

The village has two other pedestrian bridges across roadways: one at Higgins and Arlington Heights roads built more than 20 years ago, and another across Route 53 near Rohlwing and Beisner roads built about 10 years ago. The latter was a $2 million project, a majority of which was funded through grants with the village paying roughly $200,000 toward the cost.

"In the past, we've been very successful with (securing funding)," Johnson said. "We've gotten the approval from the forest preserve so now we can go out and look for funding."

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