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Local News

Forest preserve commission tables Millbrook Bridge removal contract vote

The historic Millbrook bridge spans the Fox River at Millbrook.
The historic Millbrook bridge spans the Fox River at Millbrook.

UPDATED 12 P.M. THURSDAY, FEB. 6:

YORKVILLE – Further discussions and a vote on a contract for the demolition of a historic bridge in Kendall County has been tabled pending legal review.

The Kendall County Forest Preserve Commission had an agenda line item for their Tuesday, Feb. 4 meeting to vote on whether to approve a contract for the Millbrook Bridge removal project with D. Construction, Inc. out of Coal City for no more than $476,784.03. However, the commission voted 8-1 to table the vote until their next meeting later this month.

Commissioner Elizabeth Flowers was not present for the vote but arrived at the meeting later.

Judy Gilmour, president of the forest preserve commission, said the Kendall County State's Attorney's office has to review the contract before the commission can vote on it.

Commissioner Matt Kellogg was the only dissenting vote. He said he's against spending nearly half a million dollars to tear down a bridge that the forest preserve already dumped thousands of dollars into to try to preserve it.

Kellogg also said special meetings have been called and moved on controversial topics before with the forest preserve commission, with some commissioners not even being aware of the special meeting until the last minute. He said that didn't sit well with him.

"I didn't want anything like that to happen," Kellogg said.

The forest preserve district commission also voted 9-0 to approve a service agreement and proposal between the University of Illinois – Public Service Archaeology & Architecture program for no more than $3,989. The proposal, which was under the commission's consent agenda for the Tuesday meeting, would create a historic record of the bridge with measured drawings, photographs and written descriptions, according to the agenda.

The update comes after forest preserve officials said during the Aug. 27, 2019 forest preserve commission meeting that the historic bridge that goes over the Fox River will most likely be demolished in July or August 2020.

The issue of preserving or demolishing the bridge, constructed in 1897, has been an ongoing discussion for years between the village of Millbrook and county officials. Fox Township turned the bridge over to the Kendall County Forest Preserve District in 2002, before the village was incorporated as a municipality.

Forest preserve officials had said it was a cost issue for the commission to try to reconstruct or restore the bridge, with either option costing the forest preserve district at least $1 million.

The bridge has been closed to pedestrian traffic since 2015, and has been closed to vehicular traffic since the 1970s.

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