A pedestrian bridge over Interstate 55 links two Forest Preserve District of Will County trails to ease use by walkers, runners and bicyclists traveling along Black Road between Joliet and Shorewood.
The 300-foot bridge was installed along the south side of Black Road in September. It was 80% funded with grants from the federally funded Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.
"We've long focused on providing access to forest preserves and linking people, places and nature," Ralph Schultz, the Forest Preserve's executive director said in a statement. "With the connection of these two regional trails, folks in Shorewood, Joliet, Crest Hill, Rockdale and towns farther away are linked to each other and to additional regional and local trails, schools, colleges, libraries and places to shop, eat and explore."
The I-55 bridge was the second to be installed along Black Road as part of the forest preserve's plan. The first, a 260-foot span over the DuPage River, was installed in August 2020. The two bridges and a path along Black Road will connect the DuPage River Trail in Hammel Woods to the Rock Run Greenway Trail in Rock Run Preserve.
In addition to the two trails and preserves, the Black Road project will link to more than 50 miles of regional trails including the I&M Canal Trail and the Old Plank Road Trail.
Finishing touches on the project, including asphalt and concrete trail connections along Black Road, retaining walls, bridge decking and traffic signal adjustments at East Frontage Road, are expected to be done in October.