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Bliss Road Bridge replacement may be completed by early fall

Detour to last three more months

SUGAR GROVE – The bridge replacement on Bliss Road in Sugar Grove is slightly behind schedule but still may be completed by early November, weather permitting.

“We had a little flooding earlier in the year due to April’s heavy rains,” said Steve Coffinbargar, assistant director of transportation for the Kane County Division of Transportation. “We also had an [Illinois Department of Transportation] shutdown due to the budget impasse. And since this project includes federal funds, they have to flow through IDOT, so we were affected by that shutdown.”

Apparently travel time additions due to the detours have been a minor inconvenience. Either that or disgruntled drivers are directing their complaints elsewhere.

“Ever since the first day of being one way and having a detour, we haven’t received a bunch of complaints,” he said. “It’s gone about as well as we could’ve hoped so far.”

Traffic is able to travel only southwest from May Road to Capitol Drive at this time. The northeast-bound detour is using Route 47 north to Main Street Road east. The detour is expected to remain in affect for approximately three more months, according to a news release from the Kane County Division of Transportation.

Access to Kedeka Road is available to local traffic, while Bliss Woods Forest Preserve and the Village Bible Church may face minor, daily closures as work is being performed on these entrances. During work on the east side of Bliss Road, temporary access along Bliss Road from Capitol Drive will be provided to Midwest Greyhound Rescue, according to the release. Construction is expected to be active between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Kane County is covering 20 percent of the cost of the project; federal funds will cover the remaining 80 percent.

“The state of Illinois administers the federal funds, and it flows through them since they assist local government,” Coffinbargar said. “The total project estimate is $2.7 million, which was almost 11 percent under the engineer’s estimate.”

There were no huge concerns over the safety of bridge. It was safe all the way throughout the time that construction began. It simply had reached a point where it was due for replacement.

“It was time for it to be replaced, and it finally became eligible to use federal funds,” Coffinbargar said. “Things like minor maintenance aren’t usually eligible for federal funds and with bridges, they usually deteriorate slowly. But once you get the federal funds, you can move forward, and it was time for it to be replaced. This wasn’t unsafe, and we’re always monitoring … safety. With only closing one lane, we’ve been able to keep half open and build on the existing construction, which you always can’t do unless it’s safe.”

Coffinbargar estimates that the new bridge should last 30 to 40 years, but it will vary based on environmental conditions. A handful of other infrastructure projects are ongoing or forthcoming as well, including the resurfacing on U.S. 30 from County Line Road to Interstate 88, which began earlier this summer as well as phase one of engineering for improvements with the I-88/Route 47 interchange.

Traffic has encountered some lane closures due to the resurfacing as well as the removal and replacement of concrete curb and gutter, but nothing significant. Like the bridge at Bliss Road, the U.S. 30 project is scheduled to be completed in the fall, weather permitting.

“We’ve also got the typical routine maintenance activities going on, like resurfacing and sealing,” Coffinbargar said.

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