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Douglas County Road and Bridge discusses country road repair

By Jim Allen
The Road and Bridge subcommittee met on 10-13-2021. Jim Crane gave an update on the Harvest Ridge post construction road repairs. Beniach began work on September 7, 2021 and has completed 12 percent of the work to date. The contractor is focusing work on CR 2350 E and CR 2450 E. These are the roads that were used for EDPR contractor access to the turbine sites. Some culverts have been replaced and some that were installed by EDPR have been reinstalled because water does not like to flow uphill. Work on the roads will continue throughout the fall and into the winter as the weather allows.

After repairing existing damage to the roads and removing excess rock, Beniach is using a paver to apply rock back onto the roads. Following the CA-6 rock application, water is being applied and a compactor is following the water trucks. This method has the advantage of sealing the fine particles into the base and creates a very hard surface that will last through the winter and be ready for sealcoating next year when temperature allows. To prevent any damage to the roads this winter, snowplows will not be scraping the surface of the rock. Crane reminded the committee that the roads in the footprint will be returned to their former width. EDPR contractors increased the width of some roads but maintenance costs are based on their original width.

To date the Douglas County Highway Department has incurred $65,854.26 in expense for permit review and pre-construction inspections and $33,259.42 in inspection time for the post construction repairs. These costs will be paid either from a contingency fund that was part of the Road Use Agreement or from permit fees paid by EDPR. Further costs will accumulate as the road work continues.

In other business, Crane stated that bump grinding on County Highway 7, the Oakland-Newman Road, has been completed and some paving will be done from CH-7 to the entry of Walnut Point. The construction on the bridge over the Kaskaskia River on CH6 has been delayed until April 2022 due to supply chain issues.

A bridge over the Brushy Fork in Sargeant Township has been delayed due to the discovery of an endangered mussel, the Purple Lilliput (Toxoplasma Lividus). The county is required to obtain a conservation plan from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and coordinate with the Endangered Species Protection Board. The mitigation is expected to cost $16,742.40. The project is now expected to go to bid in spring of 2022.

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