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Blackwell - Cenacle Bridge

This project will assess the needs of the current bridge and determine whether to repair, replace, relocate or eliminate the deteriorating structure. The estimated cost would return the existing bridge to the design’s original capacity and condition, if that ended up as the decision.


Status: In Progress

The project is currently in progress. 

Project Need

Former property owners built the bridge to access a retreat house on the east side of the West Branch DuPage River. After purchasing the land, the District reinforced the stringers and floor beams in 2009 to obtain a 25-ton load rating but did not make improvements to the decking, stringers, railings or abutments. The reinforcements were more cost-effective than demolition. Today, the abutments, wing walls, wooden stringers, decking and railings are rapidly deteriorating beyond general maintenance. If the bridge remains, it will require substantial repairs. The bridge is used by hikers and bikers, but trail users can also reach the southwest corner of the preserve via a link off Butterfield Road, access made easier after improvements to the controlled crosswalks at Batavia and Butterfield roads and the addition of a pedestrian lane on the Butterfield bridge over the West Branch DuPage River. Forest Preserve District maintenance vehicles occasionally use the bridge, but most access the east side of the river via the Urban Stream Research Center.

BLW Cenacle Bridge