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updated: 11/13/2012 4:47 PM

DuPage forest, county to build $2.5 million bridge to connect preserves

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DuPage County Forest Preserve officials are poised to approve construction of a nearly $2.5 million bridge and trail in Mallard Lake Forest Preserve near Hanover Park, which would cross County Farm Road and connect to nearby Hallows Creek Forest Preserve.

Planning and development Director Andrea Hoyt said the district will not shoulder the entire cost.

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Instead, DuPage County officials offered to pay up to $500,000, because the bridge will cross a busy county road where drivers travel at high speeds.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has offered a $500,000 grant to assist the North Central DuPage Regional Trail. This bridge would provide a crucial link on the trail, connecting miles of trails in DuPage and Cook Counties.

Several residents spoke in favor of the bridge Tuesday during a forest commission meeting.

Rob Burns, Roselle's director of public works, said the bridge is long overdue.

"There is a legion of hundreds of people who would like to see it," Burns said.

Terry Witt, of Bartlett, also said the bridge will be a crucial link whose absence has prevented many cyclists from discovering new preserves.

"I'm hoping that you provide the ability for lots of people in the future to keep riding, keep exploring," he said.

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