Historic bridge to make its return to Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in October
A historic bridge will make its way back to Eagle Lake at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve near Downers Grove sometime in October.
The wrought-iron pony truss bridge, dating back to the 1870s, was lifted out with the use of a crane in June as part of a $1.37 million project to refurbish it and replace another bridge in the Hidden Lake Forest Preserve.
Since June, visitors have not been able to access the Eagle Lake Trail or Eagle Lake. The Loop Trail and Round Meadow Lake, however, have remained open.
Work on the historic bridge includes sandblasting, painting and other repairs. A new wooden deck will be installed once the bridge is back in place over the east branch of the DuPage River.
"We know this bridge is structurally sound," said Christopher Welch, a civil engineer for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. "The plans are for (to keep it) for another 100 years."
Although restoring the bridge will cost $20,000 to $30,000 more, officials said the bridge is expected to outlast a new bridge, which would have a life span of about 40 years.
Welch said the bridge, which has been in Michigan for repairs, should make its return by the end of October. A crane will be used to put the bridge back in place in one piece.
Once the restored bridge is in place, work on a second bridge on the Loop Trail will begin. That 38-year-old bridge will be replaced with a standard 14-foot-wide steel truss bridge.
Welch anticipates all work will be completed by the end of the year.