Mount Prospect moving forward on study of pedestrian bridge

  • Mount Prospect village trustees voted Tuesday to authorize a $124,000 study on building a pedestrian bridge over Northwest Highway and the Union Pacific railroad tracks to link Melas and Meadows parks.

      Mount Prospect village trustees voted Tuesday to authorize a $124,000 study on building a pedestrian bridge over Northwest Highway and the Union Pacific railroad tracks to link Melas and Meadows parks. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 2/19/2020 7:17 PM

Mount Prospect is trying to sell local park and school districts on a bridge. But first, village leaders need some idea of exactly what they're selling.

With that in mind, the village board on Tuesday awarded the engineering consulting firm Burns & McDonnell a $124,000 contract to prepare a preliminary study of a pedestrian bridge across Northwest Highway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The bridge, which also would cross over Union Pacific railroad tracks, would link Meadows Park on the north side of Northwest Highway with Melas Park on the south.

Officials say it would create a safe passage for pedestrians, including students walking to and from Prospect High School.

Although the village will pursue grants to help pay for the study, the decision to "go it alone" without contributions from other local governments rubbed Trustees Paul Hoefert and William Grossi the wrong way.

Grossi said it is imperative to get buy-in from others before moving forward.

"We don't own the property on either side. I don't feel that the village should do this alone," he said.

When the idea first came up in 2018, village officials asked others, including Northwest Suburban High School District 214, the Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect park districts, and Mount Prospect Elementary School District 57, to pitch in on the costs. Only the Mount Prospect Park District agreed to help.

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Those who voted to move forward Tuesday -- Trustees Michael Zadel, Colleen Saccotelli and Richard Rogers and Mayor Arlene Juracek -- pointed out that the study is necessary to determine whether the bridge is feasible.

"I think this is something that would not only benefit the whole community, but the immediate region," Zadel said.

Juracek said the village has a responsibility to the health, safety and welfare of the community.

"When that one person gets hit by a train because they're crossing, we're going to be stuck here saying what should we have done or what could we have done," she said.

Hoefert, however, took issue with the village's being viewed by the other taxing bodies as having "the deep pockets."

"What if none of the other taxing bodies want to come in on this? Are we going it alone? It's a pretty big what if," he said,

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