Northfield, News

Northfield trustees say safety trumps high cost for Bosworth Bridge replacement

Calling it a safety issue, the Northfield Village Board on June 21 signed off on an over-budget contract to replace the degrading Bosworth Pedestrian Bridge.

A structural assessment in 2020 determined that several structural portions of the bridge were in “poor condition,” according to village documents. In response, Northfield trustees agree to replace instead of repair the pedestrian bridge, which at 70 feet long and 8 feet wide stretches over the north branch of the Chicago River and connects Bosworth Lane to Northfield Road just west of Mariano’s, 1822 Willow Road.

Village staff repaired damaged board and railings on the bridge earlier this year to ensure its safe usage.

The Village budgeted $390,000 for the project but the lowest cost estimates came in at $477,710 — $295,710 for construction (MYS, of Palos Heights) and $152,000 for engineering (Contech Engineered Solutions, of Lake Zurich), plus a $30,000 contingency — or about $87,000 over budget.

A memo from Christopher Burke Engineering, the firm leading the bid process, says that increases in concrete and lumber are among the largest culprits for the increased costs.s

In a memo to trustees, Sigman wrote that Village staff explored options to reduce costs but does not believe “exercising any of those options (i.e, re-bidding or waiving the bid process) would likely result in substantially lower costs” and would instead may result in higher costs as inflation continues.

Funding for the project comes out of proceeds from 2019 bond sales, Sigman said, a fund that contains just over $100,000.

Sigman said staff can continue to look for financial savings during production.

Trustees unanimously agreed with staff’s recommendation to move forward with the bridge replacement, which will include lighting, bridge abutments, decorative railings and approaches.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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