The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Niles West Prepares for the Construction on Oakton Bridge

Leila Meseljevic

The Oakton Street Bridge over the Edens Expressway (Interstate 94) will be going under construction beginning Thursday, March 14.  This was announced by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the 12 million-dollar project will replace the existing bridge with a new structure.

According to the Village of Skokie, “In March, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is anticipated to begin a phased replacement of the Oakton Street bridge over the Edens Expressway. The Village is working with IDOT, Niles West High School and the Village of Morton Grove to mitigate community impacts during construction.”

These new changes on the bridge will result in a 10-foot-wide multi-use path being constructed along the bridge’s south side and wider sidewalks on the north. Also, a new staircase from Niles West High School to the path will be added, and a new traffic signal will be installed at Oakton Street and Gross Point Road.

“I think the renovation of the Oakton bridge will cause a lot of traffic getting not only out of school, but into the school as well. Students may be late to classes in the morning and may struggle to get to after-school activities on time,” senior Nikoleta Manojlovic said.

With all these new advances–traffic will be prominent.  Throughout construction, left turns from eastbound Oakton Street onto northbound Frontage Road will be prohibited. Additionally,  from southbound Frontage Road onto eastbound Oakton Street will also be prohibited. In the daytime, lane closures will be implemented. In mid-March, Oakton Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction approaching the bridge and traffic will be shifted onto the northbound side to accommodate replacement of the southbound structure. It should be expected that there will be various overnight lane closures on the Edens at the bridge.

“I think that construction on the Oakton Bridge, while being at an inconvenient time during the school year, will be better for the traffic that builds from our school. I take Oakton Bridge every day to get to school and notice that a lot of traffic builds up from people trying to get to school, school buses, and everyone else,” junior Ajla Parganlija said. “These changes will be a little inconvenient for my route to school, but I think, in the long run, the changes will be better for everyone else.”

According to Assistant Principal Steve Parnther, construction is anticipated be completed in fall of 2025.

Anyone who walks to school will always have access to one side of the bridge. Also, access to local residences and businesses will be maintained throughout construction.


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