After more than two years of fund raising and public advocacy for preservation, the Long Grove Historical Society is happy to report a significant milestone has been reached. Last night the Long Grove Village Board voted to accept a bid to rebuild the Bridge’s foundation and refurbish the iron infrastructure, which should extend the iconic one lane covered bridge’s life another half a century. The vote was 4 to 2, with Trustees Borawski, O’Reilly, Kritzmire, and Nora voting yes, and Trustees Sarlitto and O’Connor voting no. The work has been designed in collaboration with the State Historic Preservation Agency so that the Bridge will retain the National Historic Register designation. Work is planned for completion late this year – perhaps, a nice Christmas present for Long Grove residents. A proper celebration will be in order, and we’ll let you know when that gets scheduled, but it may have to wait until next year considering the weather and the unpredictability of construction schedules.

To the many bridge lovers far and wide who donated time, talents and treasure, a hearty thank you for a job well done!

Originally constructed in 1906 by the Joliet Bridge and Iron Company, the bridge is one of only two remaining of its kind in the greater Chicagoland area. Grass roots efforts for historic preservation and national recognition were rekindled early in 2017 when some local officials questioned the historic value of the one-lane bridge and favored a plan that would require removal of the current structure and increase truck and auto traffic through the pedestrian friendly downtown. In April of 2017, Landmarks Illinois, named the bridge to their annual “List of Endangered Historic Places.” A petition urging local officials to save the historic bridge gathered over 5,000 signatures/testimonials and a fund-raising campaign raised over $50,000 in monetary donations and pledges. An application was researched and prepared for the National Park Service, and in June of 2018 it was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That same month, the bridge was severely damaged by an oversize truck.