Rockford Park District photo The Journal

Monday, June 29, the Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge re-opened after renovations and repairs.


A major pathway will once again link residents by foot and bike to recreation and resources throughout downtown Rockford. Today, the Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge reopened after being closed due to deterioration in November 2015. The project was able to be completed thanks to an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant received from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Region 1 Planning Council assisted the Rockford Park District in securing the ITEP grant in the amount of $2 million to help fund the repairs. The total cost to remove and replace the pedestrian bridge was $2.5 million. The Rockford Park District contributed $500,000 in capital improvement funds to pay for the repairs. “Enhancing and investing in connectivity of existing trails in the region that promote tourism and economic development, promote active and passive recreation, and enhance outdoor activities is a priority for the Rockford Park District. Citizen feedback provided in 2018 rated trails among the top list of recreational amenities the community values and that the District should invest in,” said Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners President Scott Olson.

About the Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge Project

The Rockford Park District opened the Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge in June 1988 and it spans nearly one mile across the Rock River. For the last two years, the District has been working with a variety of contractors to design and engineer the restored pedestrian bridge. The new bridge design includes a painted structure along with aluminum rain canopies to deflect water, salt, and other harmful products from the Jefferson Street vehicular bridge overhead. Crews made some structural repairs to the existing bridge approaches. At night, the bridge is lit by 53 LED lights.

The Rockford Park District would like to thank the following contractors: IMEG Engineering, Larson & Darby Group Architects, Sjostrom & Sons, Inc., Anderson Bridges, Engel Electric Co., Robinson Manufacturing, Inc., and Thomas Industrial Coatings who worked on the Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge remodel even during COVID-19. Contracted workers and capital projects were deemed essential which allowed for progress to continue during the pandemic even though all other operations throughout the Park District were suspended. Thank you to the Rockford Park District’s capital and maintenance teams for managing the multi-year project. The Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge is one of 14 other pedestrian bridges throughout the District.



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