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updated: 5/7/2013 12:28 PM

Rain delays completion of Lombard pedestrian bridges

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  • A new set of pedestrian bridges at Grace Street, St. Charles Road and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Lombard will not open until August after rains postponed the completion of construction. The bridges, which have been under construction since March 2012, originally were scheduled to open May 25.

       A new set of pedestrian bridges at Grace Street, St. Charles Road and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Lombard will not open until August after rains postponed the completion of construction. The bridges, which have been under construction since March 2012, originally were scheduled to open May 25.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Rainy days in April have delayed the completion of construction on three bridges carrying the Great Western Trail over Grace Street, St. Charles Road and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Lombard. The bridges are scheduled to open Aug. 6 instead of May 25.

       Rainy days in April have delayed the completion of construction on three bridges carrying the Great Western Trail over Grace Street, St. Charles Road and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Lombard. The bridges are scheduled to open Aug. 6 instead of May 25.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Three new pedestrian bridges coming to Lombard will not open later this month as scheduled, and village officials say the recent rash of wet weather is to blame.

The openings of the Great Western Trail bridges over Grace Street, St. Charles Road and the Union Pacific Railroad have been delayed until August because rain dominated much of the past month, said Paul Kuehnlenz, civil engineer and project manager.

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A ribbon-cutting originally scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, May 25, instead will be held Aug. 6 to coincide with Lombard's celebration of National Night out at nearby Lombard Common park.

"It's unfortunate that we need to reschedule, but necessary to ensure a safe event," Kuehnlenz said in a news release.

Bridge construction, which began in March 2012, has been nearing completion since December when crews installed beams to complete the bridge that spans the railroad tracks. But recent rains -- including more than 6 inches that fell in 24 hours between April 17 and 18 -- stalled the process, Kuehnlenz said.

Project costs have totaled roughly $4.4 million, with money coming from federal and state grants, DuPage County and $2 million from a village fund dedicated to public improvements in the area east of downtown.

The bridges are designed to increase safety of runners, walkers and bicyclists using the Great Western Trail by eliminating their need to cross two busy streets and a set of railroad tracks at an unusually configured intersection. Discussions of a need for the bridges date back at least to 2002, when a committee began exploring ways to make the rail crossing safer for trail users.

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