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Illinois bridge put on National Register of Historic Places

June 22, 2018

LONG GROVE, Ill. (AP) — A one-lane bridge in a Chicago suburb has been added to the National Register of Historic Places after years of debate over whether to demolish it.

The covered bridge over Buffalo Creek in Long Grove was added to the federal list on June 11, the Lake Zurich Courier reported . The Joliet Bridge and Iron Company constructed the bridge in the early 1990s.

The designation doesn’t completely protect the bridge from demolition, but it does make the process more difficult, said Angie Underwood, president of the Long Grove Historical Society.

“It’s now on the national registry and worthy of recognition,” Underwood said. ”(Demolishing) it would need a lot of public support, feedback and acceptance by the public.”

Village officials had debated whether to maintain the bridge or replace it with a larger structure. The discussion prompted the historical society and the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association to pursue federal designation last year.

The groups submitted 35 pages of historical data to the state, said Ryan Messner, vice president of the business association.

The designation will likely bring more tourists to the area, village officials said.

“The unique thing is that people from all over the country will want to see this bridge,” Messner said. “Folks like to look at bridges and we’re now on the map, federally.”

Village officials are now focused on rehabbing parts of the structure, said Bill Jacob, the village’s president. He said village board members have approved $78,000 for abutment work and $17,500 for work on the bridge’s cover.

The village plans to dedicate the bridge and celebrate the new designation next month, Messner said.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com

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