Construction on the Washington Street Bridge has been delayed. The original plan was for the bridge to be renovated and completed in 2021, but now city staff is estimating construction will be done in 2022.
“The utility coordination, the design, and the land acquisition all has to come together before we could put it out for bid,” said Bill Novack, the Director of Transportation, Engineering and Development for the City of Naperville. “It’s probably going to take two years. We’re really hopefully we can get out to bid early next year, and get half of the bridge built in 2021. And then complete the utility relocation over the winter and do the second half of the bridge in 2022. But, if any of those pieces fall behind, then it slides our schedule back even further.”
More On Washington Street Bridge
The bridge is more than 40 years old and needs replacement due to its deteriorated condition. It was last renovated in 2004 and in 2017 residents gave city officials input on the bridge’s revamp. Based on that input, and from other groups like the Riverwalk Commission and Downtown Naperville Alliance, the bridge’s design was recently unveiled.
“[We] went through all the comments that we received from the different groups and came up with what we did,” said Novack. “Will it be some people who may not be happy with choices? There might be. But you know what it represents the best cross section from all of those who were involved.”
Cost estimates for the new bridge are between $5-6 million, with 80% of that covered by the Federal Highway Administration.
Novack estimates between 20,000 to 30,000 cars go over the bridge everyday, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those numbers have been down in the last four months.
The new bridge will remain two lanes but will be widened to help reduce congestion. A right turn lane will be added going toward Aurora Avenue. Also on Aurora, there will be an additional lane going south towards Washington St. and existing turn lanes will be extended.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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