Mount Prospect could add pedestrian bridge downtown

Mount Prospect is adding an elevator to its Emerson Street parking deck and studying the feasibility of a pedestrian bridge that would extend from the new elevator tower to the west side of Main Street.

Desman Design Management of Chicago will design the elevator and the bridge study at a cost not to exceed $131,500, under a measure approved by the village board Tuesday.

Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said the elevator will be built near the southwest corner of the parking deck, allowing users to enter on the Main Street side.

Dorsey noted that Desman performed the design and construction engineering for the parking deck when it was built in 2003 and will have the advantage of access to source documents.

Trustee Richard Rogers said the elevator will promote synergy between the parking deck and the nearby "triangle" area the village hopes to see redeveloped.

"I'm really encouraged," Rogers said. "I have been advocating for a number of years that we need an elevator. The walkway is a secondary item, but the elevator is really critical in order to service the area in the small triangle."

Regarding the bridge, Dorsey said it is time to take a look at the concept.

"One of the things we're trying to do is improve pedestrian crossing in the downtown area. It's become a challenge because of restrictions (the Illinois Department of Transportation) is asking us to implement on (street) level," he said.

Mayor Arlene Juracek said IDOT requirements would restrict turns onto Busse Avenue, to the detriment of downtown businesses.

Trustee Michael Zadel said the project would be financed by tax increment financing district funds. "A lot of people get the idea that TIFs are created in order to provide assistance to developers," he said. "But this is one where the TIF financing goes directly to the civic improvement."

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