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Carol Stream's Illini Bridge project to reroute school traffic

CAROL STREAM – Some Carol Stream students will have to take a different route to school this fall as the village completes a project to demolish Illini Bridge near Jay Stream Middle School.

Originally scheduled to begin July 7, the Illini Drive Bridge Replacement Project was pushed back due to delays in the production of the pipes that will replace the bridge. Work is now expected to start Monday.

“It didn’t make sense to close the bridge and have everyone detour around it if the box culverts weren’t ready,” said Bill Cleveland, Carol Stream's assistant village engineer.

The village will not have the culverts until Aug. 1.

Community Consolidated School District 93 Superintendent Bill Shields said the Illini Bridge demolition will cause students from Jay Stream Middle School and Carol Stream Elementary School to walk a longer, alternative route to get to school, possibly through mid-October.

“It’s not an easy route to get around, especially for our youngest kids,” Shields said.

The superintendent said there are a good number of students who walk across the bridge to get to school, and the district is looking to provide busing for those children who will be impacted most.

“If the demolition of the bridge makes kids walk a mile or a mile and a half to get to school, then we may offer the possibility,” Shields said. “We can use existing routes or create temporary routes to pick up some of the students.”

However, the district buses won’t be picking up those students who are not impacted by the bridge’s demolition, he said.

The project also is expected to increase traffic in school zones because more parents will need to drop off their kids at school, Shields said, adding the district will talk to the Carol Stream Police Department about controlling traffic at the schools.

The project to demolish the bridge above Klein Creek near Hiawatha and Illini drives will place five box culverts on each side of the creek, Cleveland said.

The nearly $545,500 of work, funded by the village's capital improvements general construction fund, is needed because the bridge is in bad shape, he said.

Illini Bridge is mostly a local creek crossing and school route and sees less than 1,000 motor vehicles travel across it each day, Cleveland said.

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