GENEVA – A concrete bridge that had been used for decades within the Fabyan Forest Preserve, but has been closed since it buckled last summer, will be removed later this year.
And the Kane County Forest Preserve District could use the opportunity to restore stream flow in the Fox River between the west shore of the preserve and an island in the river.
In September, the Forest Preserve District closed the bridge that for decades linked the west shore of the Fabyan Preserve to the nearby island.
The closure was necessary when workers discovered the bridge had “cracked through” and a section had “heaved up” about four inches, making the bridge unsuitable for use.
The bridge is believed to be more than 70 years old.
Since the closing, the Forest Preserve District has investigated its options for repairing, replacing or removing the bridge.
This week, the Forest Preserve District’s Planning and Utilization Committee reviewed those options and decided it is best to remove the bridge, said Forest Preserve District President John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles.
But the district believes it should use this opportunity to possibly change that section of the river.
Hoscheit said the consensus of the committee was to discuss with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a proposal to remove a section of the causeway extending from the western shore. The district then could build a new bridge over that cut-out, Hoscheit said.
Laurie Metanchuk, director of community affairs for the Forest Preserve District, said removal of the causeway would improve stream flow in that section of the river, and help deal with silt issues in the river channel.
“We want to see water moving through there as it was before the causeway was built,” Metanchuk said.
She said the district has not estimated a cost for the project because engineering work next must be completed to prepare a plan to present to the Army Corps, which has jurisdiction over navigable waterways in the country.
Metanchuk said any work would not begin until midsummer at the earliest.