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Local

Grundy County Board approves agreement for rail bridge in Minooka

Railroad bridge will be extended to accommodate widening of Ridge Road

The railroad bridge in Minooka over Ridge Road will be extended to accommodate widening of the road.
The railroad bridge in Minooka over Ridge Road will be extended to accommodate widening of the road.

The Grundy County Board has approved a resolution entering an agreement with Wisconsin Central Ltd. Railroad for the extension of the rail bridge crossing at Ridge Road.

The project is part of an overhaul of Ridge Road that will include widening of the roadway between Minooka Road and Route 6.

“This is the agreement that basically spells out how we’re going to handle the construction, and then the ownership and maintenance,” County Engineer Eric Gibson said.

Gibson also said the agreement has been through various revisions and changes, and was recommended for approval from committee.

Per the agreement, construction must adhere to guidelines for design of railway structures as specified by the American Railway and Maintenance Association Manual for Railway Engineering. Those general guidelines include the following:

• Inspection walkways must be provided on both sides of the bridge

• Refuge bays are required at 150-feet intervals

• Catwalks and steel grab bars for inspection must be inside a steel deck plate girder

• Minimum grad of bridge span over roadways is .5%

“This resolution is very thick, but this is a very thin example of all the work that [the engineering department] has put into this over the last year,” County Board Chairman Chris Balkema said, adding that assistance to develop the resolution also came from other departments as well as the office of U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger. “A lot of team effort in here, and I really appreciate all the work to get us to this point. I can’t wait to get the project done.”

The estimated cost for construction services is $392,900. Interim payments will be authorized by the Grundy County Board and the Illinois Commerce Commission. Bid letting is scheduled for Sept. 20.

The project is part of the county’s road plan, a $33.7 million, five-year construction plan to address roads and bridges countywide. The Ridge Road project is set to take place over multiple years and funding cycles.

The Ridge Road widening is the largest expenditure in that five year plan.

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