Bridge, ComEd demolition make way for green space

ComEd Substation - bridge removal

Demolition of the walkway bridge from the Art and Design Studios building over the old ComEd substation.  Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin


Last week, crews began demolishing the last existing bridge from the second-story walkway system that ran from the north side of Harrison Street to Lecture Center A, used from 1965 to 1999.

The demolition of the bridge on the Architecture and Design Studios building is part of a larger project to remove a ComEd substation and develop more green space. While all other walkway bridges were gone by 1999 as part of a campus renovation project, that bridge remained because removing it could damage the ComEd substation below.

The university is in final negotiations with ComEd to remove the substation, which has been unused for about five years, said Mark Donovan, vice chancellor for administrative services.


ComEd Substation - bridge removal

The bridge is the last vestige of the second-story walkway system removed in 1999. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services

“Hopefully ComEd will remediate the site and give us a clean space to develop a green space consistent with the campus master plan,” Donovan said. “We are planning a pleasant space with welcoming features.”

Once negotiations are complete, ComEd will remove the substation, which has several buildings inside, and turn the property over to the university, said Vytenis Milunas, director of project management.

The bridge removal will be complete by the end of May, but it isn’t clear what ComEd’s timeline will be for removing the substation, Milunas said.

If the space is ready for landscaping this summer it could be ready for the next academic year; otherwise, new green features would be implemented next spring, he said.

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