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The Illinois Department of Transportation (Department) has initiated a preliminary engineering and environmental study (Phase I) for the improvement of Pulaski Road at Ford City Drive in the City of Chicago in Cook County. The proposed project is anticipated to consist of the removal of the Ford City Drive Bridge. In addition to the bridge removal, the northbound left turn lane at Pulaski Road at 76th Street will be extended to provide additional vehicle storage. This will accommodate the shifting of traffic volumes due to the removal of the bridge and ramps. A sidewalk is also proposed along the east side of Pulaski Road between 76th Street and 77th Street. The improvements are expected to improve safety and operations at the intersections. This improvement is included in the Department’s FY 2018-2023 Proposed Highway Improvement Program. Our current engineering efforts are targeted to enable a contract letting in the early years of our current multi-year program contingent upon plan readiness, land acquisition, and funding availability through our future annual legislative appropriations.

Note: IDOT projects typically have three distinct phases. Phase I (or the project Study) consists of developing the project scope, environmental studies and preliminary design of a project. Phase II (Design) consists of refining the design to develop contract plans and land acquisition. Phase III (Construction) consists of the actual construction of the project.

Public Hearing – August 17, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Daley College
7500 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60652

A public hearing was held to discuss the need for the improvement, to present the proposed improvement plan, and to obtain public input. The following materials were presented at the hearing:

As part of IDOT’s engineering and environmental process, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s (IHPA) Historic Architectural and Archeological database (known as HARGIS), the Illinois Historic Bridge Inventory, and the National Register of Historic Places were reviewed for cultural screening within the project study area. HAARGIS and the Illinois Historic Bridge lists identified the existing Ford City Drive Bridge as eligible for inclusion in the National Register. The bridge is eligible due to its construction design as a concrete rigid frame example for 1935 and later. IDOT established the Illinois Historic Bridge Inventory as a list of historic bridges in consultation with the IHPA to establish a list of structures with historic significance. Here, the bridge is listed as Keller Drive over Crawford Avenue, the previous names of the two roadways.

The Ford City Drive Bridge is one of 9 concrete rigid frame bridges listed in the Illinois Historic Bridge List. These concrete rigid frame bridges have the characteristic of having a superstructure composed of cast-in-place concrete slabs strengthened with reinforcement bars. The superstructure is constructed integrally with the substructure to function in a rigid manner to support traffic loads. This means that rather than separate elements such as a deck, a superstructure and a substructure acting together to hold the roadway, like most modern bridges, the Ford City Drive Bridge is one entire block acting as a bridge. This design allowed the use of a shallower deck, did not require the use of steel bearings to support the superstructure and utilized less space on the approaches which was advantageous for crossing over roads in urban environments such as this one. However, construction and maintenance of the structure becomes very complicated and a burden on vehicular traffic when its design life is reached, which is why this design is rarely utilized today by IDOT.

IDOT’s proposed improvement is to remove this bridge. In accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (23 U.S.C. 144(g)), IDOT is hereby making the bridge available for donation to a State, local or responsible private entity. In order to transfer the bridge to a responsible private entity, IDOT requires that the proposal include confirmation that the entity will:

  • Maintain in perpetuity the bridge and the features that give it its historic significance
  • Assume all future legal and financial responsibility for the bridge, which includes an agreement to hold IDOT harmless in any liability action, and
  • The bridge must be either acquired and maintained or relocated in coordination with the bridge replacement schedule.
  • The entity will be eligible to receive reimbursement costs not exceeding the cost of demolition. All remaining costs shall be the responsibility of the entity requesting to take over the structure. This bridge would not be eligible for any other funds under the Historic Bridge Program.

Interested parties should send a letter to IDOT stating the funding means, location of bridge placement, means of moving structure and timetable to IDOT by October 27, 2017 to be eligible for consideration.

Written comments can be submitted via emai to DOT.D1.PulaskiAtFordCity@illinois.gov or the mailing address below. Comments received by October 27, 2017 will become part of the official public meeting record.

Illinois Department of Transportation
Bureau of Programming, 4th Floor
Attn: Mr. Carlos Feliciano
201 West Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 60196-1096

Pulaski Road at Ford City Drive

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