The bridges over the Kishwaukee River for both North First Street and Lucinda Avenue will be closed beginning March 1 for reconstruction, with substantial completion and return of traffic access programmed for mid-August of this year.
The North First Street bridge, constructed in 1977, and the Lucinda Avenue bridge, built in 1954, were scheduled for replacement under state guidelines based upon bi-annual inspections. Both bridges will be removed completely and rebuilt as single span structures.
These important infrastructure projects will cause disruptions to the traffic patterns for Northern Illinois University, Clinton Rosette Middle School, and many north-south travel habits. Given the complexity of the work, it is not possible to complete the projects in the summer months alone when school is not in session. However, the City coordinated with the University and DeKalb School District during the initial design and planning phases to begin the projects aggressively in early spring, enabling the community to target completion before the start of the Fall 2023 school year.
The City is using the First Street bridge reconstruction as an opportunity to improve safety and convenience for pedestrians and bicyclists. As part of the project, a shared-use path will be built underneath North First Street to connect existing paths along NIU’s North 40 and the athletic fields at Clinton Rosette Middle School. Currently, those using the path have to conflict with traffic before crossing First Street via on-street striping. Creation of the underpass will enhance connectivity and recreational experience in the City.
Signs providing motorists with advanced notice of the March 1 closures will be put into place early next week. Detour routes are shown below. The bridge closures are expected to remain in place until the completion of the projects expected in mid-August.
Pedestrians and cyclist should also anticipate interruptions to full connectivity in the areas immediately adjacent to the structures for all or parts of the project.
The projects are being funded significantly by State infrastructure programs.
Community members with questions on the projects may call City Engineer Zac Gill at 815-748-2331.