Elgin eyes building new Fox River footbridge near Judson
By Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org July 12, 2012 3:04PM
Ricardo Urbieta of Elgin rides his bike on the Fox River pedestrian bridge that is located underneath the I-90 tollway in 2005. This bridge may be removed, and Elgin is looking into building a new pedestrian bridge not far away. | File~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 14, 2012 6:28AM
ELGIN — A new pedestrian bridge over the Fox River might be built on the city’s north side, about a mile from an existing span under the I-90 overpass.
While this might seem a tad redundant, Elgin management analyst Aaron Cosentino told the city council Wednesday that the current pedestrian bridge more than likely will be gone once ongoing, extensive improvement work to that section of the tollway is completed.
Cosentino said the state is obliged to move the bridge to comply with federal rules put in place after Sept. 11, 2001, which prohibit one bridge from being underneath another bridge.
While the state’s plan won’t be known until fall, in the meantime the Northeast Neighborhood Association, Judson University and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County have been collaborating on plans for a pedestrian bridge linking the campus — located along the west side of the river — to the northeast side.
The idea has been floating around since at least 2005, when The Elginite blog first posted ideas about locating such a path from near the old David C. Cook building on the east side to the south end of Judson.
Wednesday night, the city council agreed to grant $15,000 toward the first engineering phase of the project. This was one of seven Neighborhood Improvement grants awarded from $37,558 in Grand Victoria Casino money.
According to an April 10 Elgin Sustainability Commission agenda, under an existing grant-writing agreement, Transystems submitted an application to the Illinois Transportation Enhancements Program that would provide $250,000 toward this work, with the initial engineering bill estimated at $300,000.
Cosentino said the city should know by October if Elgin will be getting that money. The project would cost $2.4 million, and further grant money would be sought for the work.
The city now is working with eCivis, an online grants management system that assists the city in finding project funding sources.
Other neighborhood improvement grants approved this week were:
$7,000 to the city’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee to develop a bike map;
$3,300 to the Country Brook Homeowners Association for purchasing and installing a monument sign at the entrance to the subdivision;
$6,000 to the NorthEast Neighborhood Association (NENA) and McKinley School for a butterfly garden;
$2,880 to the Elgin Area Historical Society for signs related to a reconstructed windmill that the society is putting up in Foundry Park;
$1,000 to the Downtown Neighborhood Association for Harvest Market signage, and
$2,378 for planters at the Fountain Square condominium development.
All grants are to be matched with cash and/or in-kind services to the city.