New Oak Street Bridge Renderings Displayed
The renderings were looked at by residents who attended Tuesday night's public hearing on the Oak Street Bridge replacement project.
Hinsdale residents were given an opportunity to see what the reconstructed Oak Street Bridge might look like and learn about its dimensions and features Tuesday night during a public hearing at Memorial Hall.
The new two-lane bridge, several renderings of which were on display Tuesday, would be 20 feet wider, 50 feet longer, and 3 feet higher than the existing one-lane bridge, said project manager Allen Staron of Clark-Dietz, the village’s engineering consultant during the first phase (engineering and environmental studies) of three phases of the Oak Street Bridge project.
"The Federal Highway Administration told us that federal bridge funds cannot be applied for a new bridge constructed to carry less than two lanes," Staron said before trustee Laura LaPlaca confirmed the village still plans to pay for the bridge exclusively through federal and state grants.
The new bridge would also feature sidewalks on both sides and a flatter grade to provide better line-of-sight for those crossing the bridge.
Staron said construction of the new bridge, the third phase of the project that ideally would begin in 2015 and last approximately 12 months, would cost between $10 million and $13 million. That’s down from previous estimates pegging construction costs between $13 million and $17 million.
Staron said Tuesday that cost reduction came from the village’s Oak Street Bridge community working group wanting the project to have as little impact on the surrounding area as possible. Several spots of road reconstruction south of the bridge were scrapped to accommodate that want.
There will still be significant roadwork, to be sure.
The stretch of South Oak Street between the bridge and Chicago Avenue would be widened by 3 to 4 feet, Staron said, and raised 10 inches to accommodate the new bridge’s grading. About 150 feet of Oak south of Chicago would be rebuilt along with about 400 feet of Chicago. The Oak-Chicago intersection would become a four-way stop.
A retaining wall ranging between 3 and 12 feet in height would be built on the east side of Oak adjacent to Highland Park to minimize the new bridge’s environmental impact on the park.
North of the bridge, the stretch of Oak between the bridge and Walnut Street would be rebuilt in stages so that access to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is not overly hampered, and Hillgrove Avenue would be turned into a two-way road that is accessible from County Line Road only, not from Oak.
The look of the proposed bridge is meant to match the nearby Highlands Metra station, but is not final.
The second phase of the project, which will likely begin midyear after all public comments from the current first phase are noted, will address design and land acquisition.
"Public input on the bridge aesthetics is expected to continue during the final design phase," Staron said.