MDOT plans to replace Oak Park's Church Street Bridge in 2024

Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 18:17:14-05

If you regularly drive on I-696 in Oak Park, you have noticed the icicles that often hang from the massive Church Street overpass.  

MDOT just announced it plans to address the problem by replacing that bridge.

“It is quite fortunate that no one has been injured by those icicles coming down, but we have to take care of that. And we do put money out every year,  And despite a number of attempts to try and get that problem corrected, it looks like it is not corrected,” said Diane Cross, MDOT Spokesperson.

“Of course it is frustrating, but at the same time we understand the safety concerns and share them. We want it fixed,” said Kevin Yee, the Assistant City Manager, Director of Public Works & City Engineer in Oak Park.

The bridge is not ordinary.  It is huge and holds paths, a street, and a park. 

It is regularly used by neighbors as they walk to and from their homes and Synagogue.  Many in the area's Orthodox Jewish Community do not drive on Sabbath.

“It is a real pain to be in the neighborhood,” said Robert Buxbaum, a neighbor.

Many neighbors like Robert Buxbaum say they are frustrated.  

MDOT did millions of dollars in work just a couple of years ago to try to stop the water issues - and now is expected to spend about $30 million.

Buxbaum says he hopes when the project begins in a few years it is well thought out. He was not happy with what he saw during previous work.

“I am an engineer. I know something about water,” said Buxbaum.  “I was watching that they really hadn’t taken care of the drainage.