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New pedestrian bridge to be built in Tinley Park

Updated: January 7, 2013 7:15AM



Tinley Park will build a new pedestrian bridge to replace one demolished earlier this year.

The village will accept bids until 10 a.m. Jan. 16 to build the bridge at 172nd Street and 67th Avenue.

The bridge will span Midlothian Creek and lead to athletic fields in Memorial Park near Fulton School.

The old bridge was deemed unsafe when inspected earlier this year, public works director Dale Schepers said.

That bridge “was badly rusted,” he said.

At Tuesday night’s village board meeting, Trustee Tom Staunton Jr. said the old bridge, which had been near a curve in 172nd Street at 66th Court, was unsafe.

“We’re moving it to make it safer,” he said.

The former bridge did not line up with any sidewalks, he said. The new bridge will line up, and will have a crosswalk across 172nd Street.

Schepers estimated the bids will come in between $100,000 and $125,000.

In the spring, the village put up barricades around the bridge, but people climbed over them to use it, village manager Scott Niehaus said.

Eventually, the village decided to simply tear down the bridge, he said.

That did not sit well with some residents.

“We had a couple calls from commuters,” Niehaus said.

Commuters who use the Oak Park Avenue Metra station and live north of the park have used the bridge as a shortcut for years, he said.

The bridge is also used by people affiliated with the Tinley Park Bulldogs, a youth sports group, who play their games on the fields near Fulton School.

On busy days, many people park south of 172nd Street and rely on the pedestrian bridge, Niehaus said.

The new bridge should be erected by spring, he said.

The project was delayed by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which had to review plans because the bridge spans a creek, Staunton said.



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