Mundelein scaling back plans for pedestrian overpass at Metra station

Mundelein looks to save about $2 million

  • This newly released architectural image shows a curving pedestrian overpass near Mundelein's Metra station. A long bridge would connect a condominium building east of the tracks and a spot at the south end of Plaza Circle.

    This newly released architectural image shows a curving pedestrian overpass near Mundelein's Metra station. A long bridge would connect a condominium building east of the tracks and a spot at the south end of Plaza Circle. Courtesy of Village of Mundelein

  • A freight train passes the Mundelein Metra station. Officials have proposed building a pedestrian overpass at the tracks to help people safely cross them.

    A freight train passes the Mundelein Metra station. Officials have proposed building a pedestrian overpass at the tracks to help people safely cross them. Daily Herald File Photo, 2016

 
 
Posted7/23/2019 5:23 AM

Concerned about rising cost estimates, Mundelein officials are scaling back plans for a pedestrian overpass at the railroad tracks near the village's Metra station.

Instead of two towers that would flank the Canadian National Railway tracks and be bridged by an enclosed walkway, plans now call for a curving, uncovered bridge that would have ramps on both sides.

 

The new design, unveiled during Monday's village board meeting, could cost about $2 million less to construct than the original proposal, the price estimate for which had risen to $7 million, said Adam Boeche, the village's public works and engineering director.

The updated design also would reduce the structure's footprint, decreasing the impact on vacant commercial property in the area.

Village trustees informally told Boeche and his staff to proceed with the new concept. No formal action was taken.

Officials want to build an overpass to help people who live east of the tracks get to the station. It also would make getting to the nearby municipal plaza and destinations in downtown Mundelein safer for anyone walking or bicycling from east of the tracks.

The original proposal would have been the only enclosed railroad overpass in Illinois, Boeche said. Elevators and stairs would have brought people to the walkway.

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The structure originally was expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million, but the price crept up as design work proceeded this spring, Boeche told trustees.

Long-term maintenance costs became a concern, too, Boeche said.

So, village engineers teamed with a Chicago consulting firm called EXP to revise the plan.

They now envision a long bridge running between a condominium building east of the tracks and a spot at the south end of Plaza Circle, near village hall. The ramps would eliminate the need for stairs or elevators.

"(It's) much more streamlined," Boeche said. "We think this is a much better, more efficient design."

The bridge could be heated to aid snow removal during the winter, Boeche said, and it would be plowed when needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Village hall secured two state grants totaling $3.7 million to help pay for the original design. The grant applications will need to be revised because the design has changed, Boeche said, but he's confident they'll be approved.

Construction of the twin-tower overpass initially was proposed to begin this month. Revising the design will push the project back about one year, Boeche said.

Saving $2 million is worth the delay, Boeche said.

When asked their opinions of the project Monday, no trustees opposed the new design.

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