Trustees consider pact on pedestrian bridge

By Ken Knutson

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Hinsdale trustees Tuesday discussed a proposed intergovernmental agreement between the villages of Hinsdale and Western Springs and the Illinois Tollway Authority concerning a new pedestrian bridge over the Tri-State Tollway.

Last July, trustees expressed their desire that the bridge, which will be constructed along the north side of Chicago Avenue connecting Veeck Park in Hinsdale and Spring Rock Park in Western Springs, be designed with vertical pickets and be painted black. Their Western Springs counterparts agreed with that plan.

In addition, Hinsdale will pay an estimated $38,400 to stain the concrete wall approaching the bridge in Veeck Park to match the color of the Oak Street Bridge wall. The bridge will replace the one that crosses over the tollway at Minneola Street as part of the project to widen the expressway.

Under the IGA, the Tollway Authority will be responsible for all engineering and construction costs, with the exception of the village’s design changes for the approach wall. If after bidding, the actual cost exceeds the $38,400 the village has projected, it will have the option to abandon the design changes.

Village President Tom Cauley asked village attorney Bill Ryan for clarification on the extent of the village’s financial obligations with respect to the bridge. Ryan explained that the village’s responsibility is two-fold.

“We have the obligation to do the routine maintenance on the path leading up to the bridge, and then we have the obligation to do routine maintenance over the bridge if it’s within our budget to do so,” Ryan said.

Routine maintenance exclusive of the design enhancements is expected to exceed $20,000 annually for each village under the agreement. Because painting the bridge black is considered an enhancement, the villages also are responsible for the cost to repaint it.

“We’d be responsible for sharing that cost with Western Springs,” said Brad Bloom, assistant village manager. “They estimated 25 years after the bridge went in, we would have to have it repainted, and they estimated the cost at an approximated $100,000.”

Trustees also are asked to indemnify the Tollway Authority against the village’s failure to perform routine maintenance. Western Springs has identical indemnification, and the Tollway Authority is indemnifying both towns for design, construction, structural maintenance and their share of routine maintenance.

The IGA is expected to be on the board’s May 18 agenda for a vote.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean