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Old Ashland Bridge On Bloomingdale Trail To Be Moved To Western

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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s not every day you see a bridge being hauled down city streets. On Saturday, a bridge that once spanned Ashland Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood will make a 1.5-mile trek to its new home over Western Avenue along the Bloomingdale Trail.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bart Shore reports, as work continues to transform the Bloomingdale Trail from a 2.7-mile stretch of unused railroad tracks into a park, in recent weeks an unused bridge over Ashland Avenue was removed at Bloomingdale Avenue.

It was moved to a nearby work yard for cleaning, structural assessment, and repainting. On Saturday it will be moved to Western and Bloomingdale avenues.

The city has posted a YouTube video showing crews removing the old Ashland bridge and placing it in an adjacent work yard north of Walsh Park. That work yard eventually will become part of an expansion of Walsh Park.

Starting around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, a flatbed truck will haul the renovated bridge south on Ashland to North Avenue, west to Western, and north to Bloomingdale, where a crane will lift it into place to replace a bridge that was demolished last month.

The Chicago Department of Transportation said the old Ashland Bridge should be a perfect fit at its new location. The move should take about two hours.

The project to move the bridge is part of the city’s plan to transform the old Bloomingdale Line railroad tracks into a 2.7-mile-long park with bike and jogging paths running from Ashland to Ridgeway.

To accommodate crews moving the bridge, parking will be banned on the following streets beginning at 4 a.m. Saturday:

— Ashland between Cortland Street and North Avenue

— North between Ashland and Western

— Western between North and Moffat Street

Parking will be allowed after the bridge has passed any location, and should be restored no later than 10 a.m.

The city also will enforce rolling street closures as the bridge makes its way from the work yard to Western and Bloomingdale.