Long Grove board to discuss possible demolition of bridge cover

Long Grove village board members tonight are expected to address the possible demolition of the iconic downtown bridge's cover badly damaged June 27 when a truck smashed into the span.

The Robert Parker Coffin Road bridge sustained the heavy damage less than two weeks after landing on the National Register of Historic Places. It's been closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic since.

Long Grove's elected officials are scheduled to consider three bids from companies seeking to remove the cover. Village Manager David Lothspeich said there are cost differences in the proposals, with one much cheaper, because of the level of service being offered.

John Neri Construction Co. Inc. of Addison is willing to do a basic demolition of the cover and leave the wood on the side of the bridge for the village to dispose of for $7,600, according to its bid with the village.

Northbrook-based Kloepfer Construction Inc. has submitted a bid to do the demolition and haul the lumber to a site of the village's choosing for $17,000. Johler Demolition Inc. of Arlington Heights bid $17,800 and also is offering a higher level of service than the lowest bidder.

The discussion on how to repair the cover and the bridge itself will come later.

Lake County sheriff's police said Deputy Greg Abshire was doing paperwork while parked near the bridge when he heard a loud crash that turned out to be a box truck striking the top of the structure in the late afternoon June 27. Besides not fitting under the 10-foot, 6-inch-tall bridge, authorities said, the 15,000-pound empty rental truck exceeded a 6,000-pound limit.

Truck driver Eriberto Orozco, 30, of the 3500 block of North Lowell Avenue in Chicago, was cited for disobeying a stop sign, disobeying a traffic control device, driving an overweight vehicle on the bridge and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash, police said.

Dating to the early 1900s, the one-lane bridge made the National Register of Historic Places on June 15.

Constructed in 1906 by the Joliet Bridge and Iron Co., the span is a rare surviving example of a pin-connected pony truss bridge built for an urban setting, according to documents submitted for the national landmark process. The "nostalgic covering" was added in 1972 to help preserve the bridge and limit traffic from heavy vehicles.

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