ELBURN – Based on the findings of a study completed by Engineering Enterprises, Inc., EEI Principal Dave Burroughs told board members at a Village Board meeting Feb. 5 that guardrails are warranted on the east side of Anderson Road.
The road, which includes a bridge that crosses over the Union Pacific railroad tracks in town, was completed in December 2015.
Not long after construction of the road and bridge was completed, some residents voiced their concerns to village officials over the lack of guardrails on the road leading up to the bridge, especially on the eastern edge of the road. Although there were guardrails on both sides of the road on the bridge, there were none on the road leading up to it.
The people who voiced these concerns said that they experienced discomfort driving on the road without the more secure feeling that guardrails could provide.
These and several other concerns were brought to Kane County Department of Transportation’s attention in the months after the road opening. The county’s response to the concern about the guardrails was that the road had been built according to the county engineers’ specifications.
The road construction was a joint project between several governmental agencies, including Kane County and the village of Elburn, giving responsibility for maintenance of the road to Kane County during the first year and to the village subsequent to that.
As the season’s winter weather began, several residents again approached the village regarding the steepness of the incline and the safety of the road.
Village President Jeff Walter brought these concerns to the board at the Dec. 4, 2017 meeting, and trustees decided to open up for discussion again the possibility for guardrails, beginning with a request for an estimate of the cost to install them.
In January, when EEI gave trustees an estimate of $104,976 for the project, the board then asked EEI to obtain confirmation on results from a barrier warrant analysis. When Burroughs discovered that one had not been done, EEI completed the analysis for the village and presented the results to the board at its Feb. 5 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Burroughs said that EEI’s findings showed the need for guardrails on the east side of the road. He said that, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials roadside design guide, curbs have limited capabilities to redirect a car that is starting to go off the road. According to Burroughs, federal highway guidelines require a recovery zone of 15 feet outside of curbs and gutters to allow a vehicle to recover and get back on the road.
He said that the road design on the west side of Anderson Road more than meets these standards, but that the east side of the road does not.
Walter said that the village’s next step will be to have a “sit-down” with the county to determine where the funding for such a project will come from.
“We need to figure out why wasn’t this done before and who is going to pay for it,” he said. “I don’t see the village being on the hook for this.”