Mundelein officials choose design for pedestrian bridge

 
 
Updated 3/13/2018 5:10 PM
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  • Mundelein officials plan to build a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks near the village's Metra station. This preliminary design was selected Monday.

    Mundelein officials plan to build a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks near the village's Metra station. This preliminary design was selected Monday. Courtesy of Mundelein

  • The brick and glass pedestrian bridge Mundelein village officials plan to build over the Canadian National Railway tracks will help people who live east of the tracks get to the Metra station at 101 N. Archer Ave.

      The brick and glass pedestrian bridge Mundelein village officials plan to build over the Canadian National Railway tracks will help people who live east of the tracks get to the Metra station at 101 N. Archer Ave. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer 2017

After years of discussion and planning, Mundelein officials have chosen a preliminary design for a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks near the village's Metra station.

The brick and glass structure will help people who live east of the Canadian National Railway tracks get to the station at 101 N. Archer Ave. It also will make getting to the nearby municipal plaza and destinations in downtown Mundelein safer for anyone walking or bicycling from east of the tracks, officials have said.

The bridge will be built about 300 feet north of the train station, Village Administrator John Lobaito said.

It will consist of two towers on either side of the tracks and a high, enclosed walkway between them. The towers will have stairs and elevators.

The bridge could cost between $4 million and $5 million, Lobaito said. Village officials announced in 2015 that they secured two state grants totaling $3.7 million to help pay for the effort.

The village board selected a preliminary design during its meeting Monday night. Trustees were given two options and said they prefer one but would like certain elements of the other, such as decorative arches at the tower entrances inscribed with the name of the town.

"I definitely like the arch," Trustee Bill Rekus said. "It has a certain look to it that says this is Mundelein."

Engineering and formal design work is scheduled to begin in May. Construction could happen in July 2019.

Village leaders began talking about a pedestrian bridge at the tracks in 2012 as part of the village's ongoing downtown redevelopment plans.

"(It) wants to be built, but it's taking a lot of time to get there," said Amanda Orenchuk, the village's community development director.

The preliminary design chosen Monday was created by Kaltsouni Mehdi Inc., a Chicago architectural firm. It was brought aboard by HR Green Inc., the engineering firm working on the project.

Scott Adams, president and CEO of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce, predicted the bridge would bring more customers to the businesses in downtown Mundelein.

"It'll be a real boon to the downtown area," Adams said.

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