New Barrington High School bridge to open by month's end
The concrete is drying on a new bridge connecting the athletic fields and parking lot north of Flint Creek to the rest of the Barrington High School campus, and school officials hope it will be in use by the end of the month.
The new bridge -- expected to cost the Barrington Area Unit School District 220 $281,000 -- replaces a bridge that collapsed in February. The old bridge, believed to have been built in 1973, was used only by pedestrians and the occasional golf cart.
"This is unlike the other one. This one is fully rated for highway loads," said Thomas Campagna, the director of District 220 buildings and grounds. "This is a serious piece of supporting equipment for the district."
The highway load rating means that emergency vehicles can use the bridge to access the Field of Dreams athletic area to reach injured student-athletes or put out a fire.
"That is a hardy structure," Superintendent Brian Harris said. "Plan on that being there for the next 50 to 75 years."
Harris said while the bridge has been out, students who park their cars in the lot on the far north end of campus have been shuttled to and from school by bus.
Campagna said the steel structure of the bridge was installed Oct. 30, and the concrete layer went down Wednesday. The concrete will take around 10 days to cure, he said. While it sets, crews will pave the road leading up to the bridge and install lights and cameras, among other tasks.
"There will be plenty to do," Campagna said.
While officials hope the bridge is usable by the end of the month, there might be landscaping work to complete around the construction site once it opens.