A pedestrian bridge that connects the Carol Stream Public Library with Armstrong Park has been closed due to safety concerns that arose when a concrete slab fell off it late last month.
Two handrails that were held in place by the concrete also fell off, spurring village and park district officials to close the bridge as a precaution. Temporary plastic orange fencing now surrounds the structure, which is about five feet above a creek that separates the library and park property.
“Preliminary inspections don’t show it’s in any imminent danger of collapse,” said Jim Knudsen, the village’s director of engineering services. “But at same time if someone tries to drive a vehicle across it ... there could be a potential for a problem there.”
Knudsen is recommending the village hire an inspector to evaluate the bridge’s stability and present possible remedies. The village board is expected to take action on that request Monday.
Ultimately, it would be up to the park district, which owns the bridge, to pay for repairs.
The bridge was constructed in 1979. There’s some speculation it may have been weakened by floodwaters during major storms in 2008 and 2010 that touched the bottom of the structure, Library Director Ann Kennedy said.
She said the bridge is heavily used, mostly by dog walkers, bicyclists, students from Jay Stream Middle School and those looking for a shortcut between the park and the library.
“I think as a community we cannot consider not replacing it,” Kennedy said.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.