By Paul DelGuidice

For The Villa Park Independent

 

The Villa Park Board of Trustees has approved funding of the engineering portion of plans to reconstruct the St. Charles Road bridge. At the Formal Meeting held on Monday, March 26, the Board unanimously passed two Resolutions that will finally get the repair process started for the bridge.

The bridge, which is just west of IL Rte. 83 and experiences heavy traffic loads as commuters drive east into Elmhurst, had emergency maintenance completed in September, 2017. All lanes are now open to traffic.

“It will still have the weight restrictions until the full bridge is replaced,” said Elmhurst City Manager Jim Grabowski at that time, “but it’s good news in terms of traffic flow through Elmhurst and Villa Park.”

Part of the bridge is in Elmhurst and the two municipalities are sharing the cost of repairs. The Villa Park Board of Trustees vote on Monday was to approve funding for engineering of the new bridge. The full construction of the replacement bridge is estimated to cost $4 million. According to Villa Park staff, 80% of the funding had been secured through a bridge replacement grant. The process to receive the grants had changed since initial approval in 2017, however, and the Village had to reapply.

The nearly two-year budget impasse at the State level also put many projects, including the St. Charles Rd. bridge reconstruction, on hold.

“We have to go through this process again,” said Village President Al Bulthuis.

Engineering for the new bridge, which spans Salt Creek, should begin this year with letting of bids for the construction scheduled for April 26, 2019. Asked if the actual work could be completed in 2019, Village Director of Public Works Vydis Juskelis did not sound optimistic.

“There are so many variables in the delivery of the project, things will have to go well for us to follow that schedule,” he said.

The first Resolution was needed to allow the Village to enter into a local public agency agreement (LPAA) with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for funding. The total cost of the engineering is estimated to be $250,000, and IDOT would pay $200,000 of that total, leaving the Village’s share at $50,000.

The second Resolution approved a preliminary engineering services agreement with V3 Companies of Illinois for the design engineering services of the St. Charles Road Bridge. The cost of this contract is not-to-exceed $223,280. The Village expects to receive Federal Surface Transportation Program bridge funding for 80% of the cost.

Once rebuilding begins, the bridge is expected to be closed for portions of the construction, have lane limitations and closures, and could take up to one full year to complete.

 

 

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