Although the Village of Brookfield has already received a $176,000 federal grant to replace the pedestrian bridge spanning Salt Creek at Brookfield Avenue, a new bridge won’t be installed until at least late 2007 or spring 2008.

Village Engineer Derek Treichel told members of the village board’s Infrastructure Committee last Thursday that because all engineering and design plans must be approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) before anything can proceed, he can’t see a replacement bridge being installed until at least November 2007.

“When you use federal funds for the Phase One engineering, you can’t start the design engineering until they approve the Phase One report,” Treichel said.

Brookfield received a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant in January, which will pay for 80 percent of the cost for replacing the steel bridge over Salt Creek, which was closed in April 2004.

From 1986 when it was built until its closure, the bridge was used by commuters going to and from the Prairie Avenue train station south of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad tracks that run along Brookfield Avenue.

According to the schedule Treichel provided to committee members, he doesn’t expect IDOT to approve Phase I engineering until October. Final plans would be submitted by April 2007, with IDOT putting the project out to bid no earlier than August 2007.

The only way to push up the timeline, Treichel said, would be for the village to fund the Phase I engineering themselves. Treichel estimated that the village would lose some $48,000 in matching funds if it chose to fund Phase I engineering itself.

“Even doing that, you’re looking at construction in spring of 2007 versus fall of 2007,” Treichel said.

Members of the Infrastructure Subcommittee, which includes Village President Michael Garvey and trustees Alan Dorobiala and Kit Ketchmark, decided against the village funding the Phase I engineering by itself to gain a few months.

“As much as I want this project done yesterday, I can’t justify spending the money to speed it up a little bit,” Garvey said.

In order to address the perceived threat to pedestrians the ongoing closure of the bridge brings, Garvey suggested the village Public Safety Commission investigate recommending signage or signals to alert motorists to watch for pedestrians in that area.