The lower-level pedestrian portion of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway bridge spanning the Fox River in Elgin will be closed starting next spring, officials said.
That's when widening and improvements to the 1,600-foot tollway bridge -- part of an ongoing $12 billion, 15-year road-building program -- will begin, said Rocco Zucchero, deputy chief of engineering for planning for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.
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The overhead bridge will be open to traffic during construction, but the pedestrian bridge will be disassembled and reused by the Kane County Forest Preserve, he said.
Eastbound lanes of traffic will be widened next year, while westbound lanes will be widened in 2015. A remaining eastbound portion will be finished in 2016, Zucchero said during a presentation last week at an Elgin City Council committee of the whole meeting.
The new pedestrian bridge, which will open when construction is completed, will be wider to allow access to maintenance vehicles, he said.
The project includes environmental measures to protect the Fox River, Zucchero said. "We're doing a lot of unique environmental treatment on this bridge."
The bridge will have higher barriers to contain salt sprays. Old culverts and storm sewers leaking into the Trout Park Nature Preserve will be sealed or rerouted, and drainage from the bridge will be collected and treated, he said.
Once the project is finished, the bridge will have three piers in the water, compared to the current seven, he said. "It will be a lot less intrusive on your resources."
Work on the Route 25 bridge over the tollway is scheduled in 2014 and 2015, said tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis. The bridge also will remain open during construction. Altogether, 30 local crossroad bridges will be removed and reconstructed.
"More details will be provided to the public at upcoming public meetings and on the tollway's website as construction plans are finalized," she said.