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Local News

Debris from Millbrook Bridge demolition found in Fox River, forest preserve commission told

Dave Guritz, executive director for the Kendall County forest preserve district, talks during a Tuesday, Oct. 6 forest preserve district commission meeting at the old county courthouse in Yorkville.
Dave Guritz, executive director for the Kendall County forest preserve district, talks during a Tuesday, Oct. 6 forest preserve district commission meeting at the old county courthouse in Yorkville.

YORKVILLE – Kendall County Forest Preserve District officials are still working out the next steps following the sooner-than-expected demolition of the Millbrook Bridge at the Shuh Shuh Gah Canoe Launch near Millbrook.

Dave Guritz, forest preserve executive director, said during the Tuesday, Oct. 6 forest preserve commission meeting there were about five locations where debris was found in the river from the bridge being demolished within the last couple of months, according to a recent sonar survey. The debris included mostly rocks, a couple of potential bridge beams and tire material, according to forest preserve meeting documents.

Gurtiz said there also was damage, like a dislodged stone, done to one of the piers due to the removal.

"The purpose of this report is basically to generate the document to show that [removing the debris] still needs to be accomplished out there, as far as public safety" is concerned, Guritz said.

Gurtiz said the report has been forwarded to D Construction of Coal City. He said forest preserve district officials have yet to schedule a meeting with contractors for a plan to clean up the debris and how much that could potentially cost the district.

The update comes after the bridge was demolished earlier than expected in late August due to alleged structural concerns. Andrew Moore, project manager for D Construction, told forest preserve commissioners shortly afterward the contractor was expecting some sort of financial credit for the project.

The accepted bid for the project was nearly half a million dollars and approved by the commission in February.

Guritz said the district has not been invoiced yet for those potential reimbursements. He said the last total credit estimate the district was given was about $150,000.

Guritz said the timeline of when the forest preserve district may be officially invoiced for those total cost adjustments is unclear as of Tuesday.

"That remains to be seen," Guritz said.

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. They also had said the bridge, which closed to pedestrian traffic in 2015, would continue to deteriorate if it was just left alone and that would pose an unacceptable risk for public safety.

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