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Blackberry Creek streets, sidewalk work nearly complete

ELBURN – Work has nearly ended to complete street and sidewalk projects, along with other infrastructure items, left unfinished by defunct developers in the Blackberry Creek subdivision.

And village taxpayers have not paid for any of it, an Elburn village official said.

After the housing market crash of 2008, the developer of Blackberry Creek, St. Charles-based B&B Enterprises, stumbled financially, resulting in banks foreclosing on a number of unsold lots in the subdivision.

The financial troubles left a number of unfinished public works projects in the subdivision.

Elburn Public Works Director John Nevenhoven said those incomplete items included streets left without the top layer of pavement, broken or unfinished curbs, eroded areas around the subdivision’s retention pond and incomplete sidewalks and pedestrian paths, among other items.

In 2010, the village moved to call in millions of dollars in bonds posted by the developer with two suburban companies to complete the work.

Nevenhoven said the bond companies opted to hire contractors to complete the work themselves rather than hand $2.8 million in bonded money over to the village.

“It doesn’t matter to us,” Nevenhoven said. “Six of one, half a dozen of the other, as long as the work gets done.”

He said the street repairs, sidewalk installations and other associated work began in early May and are scheduled to be completed this week.

Should it pass village inspection, the village will sign off on the work and take over maintenance of all the constructed public improvements.

Nevenhoven said the village will give the bond companies more time to finish installing streetlights, for which contractors are awaiting delivery of equipment. And some gaps in the sidewalk network within the subdivision will remain until more new homes are built, he said.

“But Blackberry Creek should finally function like a fully-developed subdivision,” Nevenhoven said. 

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