New $1.3M bridge nearly finished in Bradley Park, with Japanese span also under renovation

A nearly 100-year-old wooden bridge is being replaced with a new $1.3 million concrete bridge spanning over Dry Run Creek in Laura Bradley Park

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

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

"We are really happy we got sidewalks on both sides of it," Friberg said. "That will really improve the bridge for pedestrians because the old bridge only had sidewalks on one side."

More park news:Replacement of Peoria’s Glen Oak Park bandshell, Tricentennial Playground both approved

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

Builders work on constructing a new bridge over the creek bed in Laura Bradley Park on Oct. 19, 2021.

"State money (for bridge repairs) runs through the county and Peoria County has a lot of bridges that are in rough shape," Friberg said. "They kind of said it would be decades before we would get on their list."

Japanese bridge faces tougher path to completion

The Japanese bridge in Bradley Park is also undergoing renovations.

Though it has a lesser price tag of $30,000, the project itself has been much trickier, Friberg said. Handrails on the bridge have to be replaced to meet current code, and wood needs to be replaced as well.

The curve of the bridge has offered some challenges. 

"The bridge has a real strong arch to it, 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 down to the carpenter shop, and you see what they’re doing, and you’re like, ‘Yeah, that makes sense, that’s really tricky.’"

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

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

The hope is for the Japanese bridge to be completed before winter starts, but "it’s been tough," Friberg said. 

Temperatures need to be above 50 degrees for the wood preservative stain being applied to the bridge to be effective, so the clock is ticking on the project. If the temperature dips too cold, work will roll over into the spring, Friberg said. 

via Peoria Journal Star

October 26, 2021 at 06:56AM

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