Nearly 100-year-old wooden bridge replaced with a new $ 1.3 million concrete bridge spanning Dry Run Creek in Laura Bradley Park.

The new bridge, which is paid for with local tax money, is expected to be completed by Dec. 1, said Mike Friberg, a planner with the planning, design and construction division of the Peoria Park District.

Last week, the arches of the bridge were put in place by a crane.

“We’re really happy to have sidewalks on both sides,” Friberg said. “It will really improve the bridge for pedestrians as the old bridge only had sidewalks on one side.”

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The park district tried to get state money for the project, but was told there would have been a long wait.

Builders are working on a new creek bed bridge in Laura Bradley Park on October 19, 2021.

“State money (for bridge repairs) runs through County and Peoria County has many bridges in poor condition,” Friberg said. “They kind of said it would be decades before we got on their list.”

Japanese bridge faces more difficult path to completion

The Japanese Bridge at Bradley Park is also undergoing renovations.

Although it was priced under $ 30,000, the project itself was much trickier, said Friberg. The handrails on the deck need to be replaced to meet the current code, and the wood needs to be replaced as well.

The curve of the bridge offered some challenges.

“The bridge has a very strong arch, so as the arch goes (the uprights) are at slightly different angles to stay vertical,” Friberg said. “It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you go to the woodworking shop and see what they’re doing, and you’re like, ‘Yes, that makes sense, that is. really delicate. ‘”

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Jake Barber, a carpenter hired to help restore the Japanese Bridge in Laura Bradley Park, works on the bridge on October 19, 2021.

Two in-house carpenters from the Park District are employed on the Japanese bridge due to the difficulty of the project and the time it will take to complete it, said Friberg.

The hope is that the Japanese bridge will be completed before the onset of winter, but “it has been difficult,” said Friberg.

Temperatures must be above 50 degrees for the wood preservative stain applied to the deck to be effective, so time is running out for the project. If the temperature drops too much, work will continue into the spring, said Friberg.

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