Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said Tuesday the village has secured federal funding for a $3.9 million 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 proposed improvement will involve the relocation of the existing crossing of Higgins Road about 1,200 feet east of Interstate 290/Route 53. The bridge will be constructed over the span of Higgins Road, which gets 55,000 vehicles per day traveling through that intersection, officials said.
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The village will start accepting bids for the project in April. Construction is expected to begin in May 2013 with completion anticipated in spring 2014, Johnson said.
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.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's office helped secure roughly $3.1 million in federal funding for the project with the village responsible for the remainder, Johnson said.
Elk Grove Village already has spent roughly $444,000 in grant funding secured through Roskam's office to complete the engineering work for the bridge project.
"The Busse Woods overpass at Higgins Road represents a much needed enhancement to the Busse Woods Trail System," Johnson said. "It will immensely cut down on the dangerous situations of crossing highways at any time of day to get to Busse Woods."
It's the last section of Higgins Road that needs a bridge so visitors can fully utilize the forest preserve paths without crossing any arterials, and for village employees to be able to access the woods during emergencies.
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.
Elk Grove Park District board President Bill O'Malley said at Tuesday's meeting the village needs to make sure the bridge construction does not interfere with an existing 12-inch petroleum pipeline that runs through Busse Woods.
There are six petroleum pipelines running through town mostly underneath Busse Road/Route 83 and one underneath Higgins Road through the woods, said O'Malley, a field technician for West Shore Pipe Line, a consortium of petroleum companies that transports petroleum from the Chicago area to Madison, Wis.
Village officials need to make sure the bridge supports keep a healthy distance from the pipeline, he added.