A project that’s been talked about for more than 80 years is marching toward completion after ground was broken a year ago, and city officials said a week ago that they believe construction is on pace for a Dec. 15 opening of the Red Gate Bridge over the Fox River.
The project will connect Red Gate Road, which crosses Route 31 on the west side of the Fox River, with Route 25 on the east side, just south of Pinelands Road. The new two-lane bridge also will have a pedestrian walkway linking the Fox River Trail on the east side of the river with a bike trail from St. Charles North High School.
According to the city’s Red Gate Bridge website, McHugh Construction has started work on the steel pedestrian bridge that will be part of the structure.
An Aug. 24 status report on the bridge website notes that:
- Work is complete on a retaining wall on the east side of Route 25.
- Route 31 traffic has been shifted to the east side of the roadway.
- Some paving has begun Red Gate between Route 31 and the Fox River.
This week, according to the website, McHugh will continue work on the structural steel for the pedestrian bridge, work on curb and gutter, and asphalt widening, on the east side of Route 25. More concrete paving west of the river also is expected this week.
Culvert replacement work that the Illinois Department of Transportation added to the project continues to shut down Route 25, the website reports, but the highway is expected to be reopened later this week.
As of mid-August, the piers for Red Gate Bridge had been completed, according to the website.
City officials have said the bridge will:
- Improve public safety by providing the police and fire departments another access point to cross the river.
- Ease transportation of children from home to school and shorten the drive for those on the north end of St. Charles seeking to cross the river.
- Reduce congestion on the Main Street (Route 64) bridge through downtown St. Charles. The city projects that by 2030, it will have 15,000 cars crossing a day, officials say.