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CHICAGO - Demolition began today on two 80-year-old bridges on Kedzie Avenue over the North and South Lagoons of historic Marquette Park on the City’s Southwest Side, which are being replaced with new structures.
The Marquette Park bridges replacement project is part of Building a New Chicago, a comprehensive $7.3 billion infrastructure renewal program put forward by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The $6.15 million project to rebuild the deteriorated bridges on Kedzie Avenue near 67th and 71st Streets will create approximately 80 jobs.
“By neglecting to invest in our infrastructure we have allowed Chicago’s bridges and roadways to decay and decline,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These critical infrastructure upgrades, like the bridges in Marquette Park, must be made to strengthen our neighborhoods, and will allow improved access to the parks that are a key element of the quality of life of families throughout the city.”
The Chicago Department of Transportation is leading the Kedzie bridges reconstruction project, which is being constructed by F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates of Chicago. The project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration.
"Replacing the Kedzie Avenue bridges is another example of how we can improve critical infrastructure and put people to work when federal, state and local governments work together," said IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider. "IDOT is proud to have contributed $1.2 million from Governor Pat Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, with the remaining $5 million for construction provided from the Federal Highway Administration, for this important neighborhood project in Marquette Park."
The bridges were originally built in 1933, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president and the Great Depression was in full swing. Both structures will be replaced due to their deteriorated condition.
The scope of work for this project includes the removal and replacement of the bridge superstructures and reconstruction of the roadway between the bridges. Improvements will also include a new sidewalk connecting the north and south bridges on the west side, ADA accessible ramps, and upgraded lighting and drainage.
The bridge replacement project is expected to be completed by October.
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