A new footbridge over the Des Plaines River connects the entertainment district of Rosemont with the Des Plaines Trail in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Cook County officials inaugurated the 12-foot-wide bridge on Bryn Mawr Avenue Saturday. It provides visitors with direct bicycle and pedestrian access to Catherine Chevalier Woods and the 28-mile Des Plaines Trail system of the forest reserve.

The $ 1.3 million project was a joint effort by Rosemont, Franklin Park, and the West Central Municipal Conference. Rosemont contributed $ 268,000 to the cost, with the remainder being covered by federal funding.

“This bridge inauguration marks the creation of an important access point to the Des Plaines Trail, but it also gives trail users an opportunity to come to Rosemont and experience our restaurants, shopping, entertainment, sports and more,” said Mayor Brad Stephens.

The bridge is part of an ongoing partnership between the forest reserves and towns along the Des Plaines River from Touhy to North Avenue to improve the walkway system. The Des Plaines River Trail Advisory Group is working to implement $ 70 million in upgrades on topics such as flooding, path reconstruction, safety improvements to roads and major railroad crossings, and potential new path connections.

“This bridge is an economic development project, an alternative transportation option, a path to healthy exercise and a gateway to nature,” said Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board and Forest Conserve.