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Yes, THAT DeKalb bridge is open again

The view of the reopened First Street bridge from the doorsteps of WNIJ's studios in DeKalb
Jenna Dooley
The view of the reopened First Street bridge from the doorsteps of WNIJ's studios in DeKalb

A busy thoroughfare that has been closed for months in DeKalb is now open again.

It happened with little fanfare — a quiet surprise on a Friday afternoon as the rain fell gently over the new Kishwaukee River span and the barriers were removed. A black minivan was one of the first vehicles to boldly go where no vehicle has gone before...or at least, not over the past nine months while the project battled setbacks and delays.

The road provides a main entry point to our broadcast center and connects Hillcrest to Lincoln Highway.

The previous bridge was built in 1977. During construction, it was completely removed and rebuilt as a single-span structure.

More work to do

According to a news release from the City of DeKalb, completion of all aspects of the project, including the new traffic-separated path, is expected in the spring.

Users should anticipate continued project activities and efforts this year and through the spring of 2024.

The City says no further closures or detours are anticipated, but caution remains required when encountering project activities.

A couple of things for pedestrians to know

The bridge deck remains closed to pedestrian use at this time, while the bike path connection to First Street has been fully restored.