Gurnee to pay about $1.2 million for bike, walking path on bridge replacement

The Gurnee village board reasserted its commitment this week to partner with the Illinois Tollway Authority on a plan to replace the Stearns School Road bridge to accommodate additional lanes on I-94 as soon as November.

In July 2019, the village board voted to help pay for a bike path on the north side of Stearns School Road and a 6-foot-wide sidewalk to the south side of the bridge, which is one of the few that connects the east and west sides of Gurnee. At the time, the project was estimated to cost $950,000

Since then, estimates rose to about $1.2 million. The board voted unanimously Monday to approve the expenditure.

Jack Linehan, assistant to the village administrator, said the 2019 cost estimate was made before final engineering plans.

Village Administrator Patrick Muetz said Monday the village has budgeted $1.2 million for the project.

Muetz said 35% of the village's total is due in November, which is when the state could start the work. The second payment of 35% will be due in October 2021, when the project is expected to be mostly completed. The final payment of 30% will be made in October 2022, about a year after the work is finished, Muetz said.

The state's plan to replace the bridge over I-94 also calls for it to support three lanes of vehicle traffic, up from two. According to village documents, the new bridge's structure would be able to support up to five lanes of traffic in the future.

In 2001, the bridge became the first in the village to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians when a bike lane was added to the north side of the roadway.

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