Long Grove Residents Fight To Preserve 111-Year-Old Bridge

CHICAGO (CBS) — Long Grove leaders want to extend the life of their iconic bridge 40 to 80 more years. But, some fear what they do to the bridge could alter the village’s charm.

Ryan Messner is president of the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association. WBBM’s Michele Fiore reports.

“It’s our brand,” Messner said.

Their “save-the-bridge” petition so far has over 2,300 signatures.

“The community is about the bridge, it’s about the one lane, it’s about people coming here, taking pictures,” Messner said.

Illinois' last remaining pin-connected steel truss bridge along Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove (John Kopecky – Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association Board Member )

Illinois’ last remaining pin-connected steel truss bridge along Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove (John Kopecky – Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association Board Member )

Built in 1902, the one lane bridge along Robert Parker Coffin Road is Illinois’ last remaining pin-connected, steel-truss bridge.

Messner said the village put $500,000 aside to make repairs, but later learned the federal government could foot most of the bill, if it’s converted to a two-lane bridge.

But at what cost? Messner said for one, traffic would likely increase.

“Because they know they can cut from Old 53 to get to 83, bypassing three lights.”

Online petitions will be accepted on longgrove.org for three more weeks.

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