Two-way Oak Street bridge will require raising road, regrading
A car waits for a green light on Oak Street to proceed south over the bridge by the hospital. | Kimberly Fornek~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 15, 2012 6:16AM
Hinsdale village officials this week discussed possible modifications that would scale back earlier ideas for the new Oak Street bridge, in response to input gathered during community meetings.
“We want to minimize the impact of construction on the residential area,” Allen Staron of Clark Dietz Engineering said, but “still provide the benefits of a new and up-to-date bridge.”
Traffic lights had been considered for the intersections of Oak Street and Chicago Avenue, and Chicago and County Line Road. Staron is now suggesting four-way stops at both intersections would suffice.
Earlier designs included widening Oak and Chicago to make room for turn lanes, but that idea, too, has been dropped, Staron said.
The intersection of Oak and Chicago will be raised 10 inches, and the approach to the bridge will be regraded so the slope will not be as steep.
But the raising of the road and the regrading will affect access to about five residential driveways, and traffic flow in and out of the hospital parking areas.
“There’s still more work and coordination to be done with the hospital,” Staron said.
And Village President Thomas Cauley, Jr. assured residents the village will be “sensitive” to how a new bridge will impact residents’ driveways.
The village also is considering closing off the intersection of Hillgrove Avenue and Oak with a cul-de-sac on Hillgrove.
“Hillgrove would be come two-way, but there would be no access to Oak,” Staron said.
Cauley reminded people the Village Board was not deciding yet on any concepts.
Cauley and Village Trustee Laura LaPlaca stressed they do not want the replacement bridge to improve traffic flow to the point that it would attract more motorists to Oak Street.
“We certainly don’t want to put in a new bridge that will add to the cut-through traffic by non-residents between Ogden and 55th,” Cauley said.
Officials also reminded the community that because the village will use state and federal money to pay for the entire project, the new structure must comply with standards set by the Burlngton Northern Santa Fe railroad, the Illinois Department of Transportation and other agencies.
Those requirements include that the bridge be two lanes and at a height of 23-feet, 4 inches, which would be 3 feet higher than the existing bridge.