By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
In addition to updating a portion of the village-owned skybridge that serves the Donald E. Stephens (DES) Convention Center, lighting and signage improvements will also be made.
Earlier this year, the village trustees approved spending $734,480 to renovate the skybridge that links two village-owned parking garages with the convention center and the Hyatt Regency Hotel, both off of River Road.
DES officials say they know many people often find themselves looking for a parking space in one of the parking garages with hundreds of other people to attend an event at the convention and conference facility. And, when they suddenly find a space, many park and hurry into the center forgetting where they parked when ready to leave.
DES officials are making parking and finding one’s car easier.
Soon, the garage parking tickets will have the name and address of that garage clearly marked on the ticket.
“We want to help our customers have a great experience from the beginning to the end of their visit to the DES and to Rosemont,” Convention Center Executive Director Chris Stephens recently said. “That’s why we’re upgrading the parking system, the lighting and the signage. We have thousands of visitors every year and when they are in a hurry or are in the midst of crowds while parking people sometimes do forget where they parked. This will help.”
The new system should soon be in operation.
“We are also increasing and updating the lighting in the walkway and immediate area,” Stephens continued. “The mayor has been specific in making sure that Rosemont visitors, residents and businesses are safe and secure.”
As the DES construction on the skybridge is completed not only will it have a cleaner look, but also have more directional and informational signs to help people find what they are looking for.
“Not only in the walkway, but we’ll be putting in new signs in the exhibit halls and throughout the convention center,” Stephens said. “The halls have different meanings for different conferences and we want to make sure attendees locate where they need to go in a convenient way.”
Sign locations have also been updated. Stephens said they are placing the signs where people can see them whether they are young children or adults.
Other improvements include new flooring, woodwork, framing and painting. In addition, some of the skybridge’s windows will be treated with special film that blocks views of rooftop heating and air conditioning units. There will also be artwork---perhaps of a historical nature---added to some of the skybridge’s interior walls.
The skybridge extends from the East Garage through the convention center, over River Road to the Williams Street parking garage just west of the village’s entertainment district.