By Jim Allen
On December 11, 2019, the Douglas County Road and Bridge Committee met with board members Tom Glen, Dick Hein, Don Munson, and Jim Crane present. The first item on the agenda was an update on Cronus Chemicals. An IEPA Air permit has been resubmitted which indicates the company is moving forward with their plans. Communications between Cronus and the County are increasing.
Patching projects on some county roads have been delayed due to weather and will be started this spring. The Mt Gilead Bridge Project over the Scattering Fork has been moved to the March 2020 bid letting. The project has been delayed due to the fact that Right of Way documents were negated because of a purchase of two acres of property between adjacent landowners. There are no concerns regarding the completion of the project, but a new Right Of Way must be completed with the affected landowners. This project will be funded with Federal in the amount of $480,000, $96,000 in Township Bridge Funds, $12,000 in Douglas County Aid to Township Bridge Fund (CATB), and $12,000 in Bowdre Township Funds. The committee voted to present an appropriation resolution for the Federally funded bridge project to the full board.
The City of Villa Grove requested CATB funds for assistance in bridge repair located on Front Street over the Embarrass River. The funds will be used to remove and replace failing abutment joints on the west and east approaches. The committee recommended to the full board that $38,000 in assistance be applied to the project.
An update on the roadways in the footprint of the wind turbine project in Newman and Murdock Townships was given. To date, the Douglas County Engineer has issued $54,000 in Road Use Agreement to EDPR and its contractors. Residents of Newman and Murdock Townships were in attendance and presented concerns over the condition the roads and safety issues regarding the traffic of large trucks hauling rock and other materials on the roads. Any issues or violations should be noted, documented, and sent to Zachary Byron, the EDPR site representative. Mr. Byron’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his telephone number is 713-202-0762. I contacted Mr. Byron and he indicated that he will respond to any concerns. Those contacting Mr. Byron should have all pertinent information to facilitate addressing the concerns. Mud on the roads and shoulders has been one of the major concerns.
Mud on the roads and other concerns may also be addressed to Joe Bush, Newman Township Road Commissioner, at 217-837-2723, or William Deckard, Murdock Township Road Commissioner at 217-354-8215.