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Happ Road bridge route reopens to traffic

Thursday, November 02, 2017
Pioneer Press
by Kathy Routliff

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways reopened Happ Road in Northfield last week, less than six months after beginning a complete replacement of the Happ Road bridge, according to a county spokeswoman.

Becky Schlikerman said the new three-span reinforced concrete slab bridge replaced one that had been built in 1924 and had outlived its useful life.

"The new bridge accommodates one lane of traffic in each direction, and has a 10-foot-wide multi-use path on the east side, improving access for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists," Schlikerman said in a press statement.

The $1.5 million project also installed ADA-compliant sidewalks on the bridge, and improved landscaping and signage, she said.

Replacement of the bridge, which lies just south of the New Trier High School Northfield campus, began last June and affected Wilmette, Northfield and Winnetka traffic. Once the project started, north- and south-bound Happ traffic was redirected to Frontage Road, between Winnetka and Illinois roads. At the time, Wilmette and county officials estimated the work would take six months to complete.

The county put in a temporary traffic light at Northfield's Happ-Winnetka roads intersection, to help control traffic heading to the Northfield campus during the bridge replacement project, Melissa DeFeo, assistant to Northfield's village manager, said at the time.

DeFeo said then that the signal would improve traffic flow and safety, but didn't include left turn arrows for northbound or southbound Happ Road, because of Happ's width.

The bridge was opened to traffic on Nov. 22, according to Northfield Deputy Police Chief Claude Casaletto.

"I think there was a little confusion that will probably go on for a little while," he said. "I think people were happy about it, though."

Twitter: @pioneer_kathy

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