Kendall County officials took some initial steps this week in removing the old Millbrook bridge over the Fox River.
The county’s Forest Preserve District Commission approved an “incidental take and implementing” agreement, also known as an incidental take permit, with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 7, that outlines the process for protecting state-listed species during the removal process.
The commission, which includes all the same people as the County Board, voted 7-1 in favor of the agreement, with Bob “H.D.” Davidson voting no. Board members Tony Giles and John Purcell were absent.
“It will be a sad day when the bridge comes down,” said Forest Preserve Commission President Judy Gilmour.
The chairman of the county’s Historic Preservation Commission also sent a letter, dated Aug. 3, to the Army Corps of Engineers reluctantly giving the green light to the county Forest Preserve District to start the bridge removal process.
In the letter, commission Chairwoman Kristine Heiman wrote that the commission “recognizes the historic significance of the Millbrook bridge” and that the commission has “tried for several years to obtain community support and find commonality of purpose for preserving” the bridge.
“In lieu of funding for the preservation and continued maintenance of the Millbrook Bridge, unfortunately, due to the lack of funding, timing, and concerns for public safety, the Kendall County Historic Preservation Commission reluctantly and regretfully recognizes that it is in the best interest of the community that the Kendall County Forest Preserve District take the necessary steps to protect the safety of the community as it relates to the Millbrook Bridge,” Heiman wrote.
David Guritz, executive director of the Forest Preserve District, said forest preserve officials are also looking into what the state historical preservation guidance is regarding the placement of an historical marker or other “documentation” of the bridge and its history.