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Millington bridge construction on hold yet again due to recent rains

After near constant work in the last month, construction for the Millington Road bridge has been suspended as of Sept. 12 due to water levels rising up.

Kendall County Engineer Fran Klaas said work had started up again on July 30 and workers from contractor D Construction out of Coal City have been working six days per week since then. Now, he said, the entire work site is all underwater due to recent heavy rainfall.

Klaas said the original goal was to have the project completed by this coming Thanksgiving. Had the low water levels on the Fox River continued, he said, he thought the work could have been done by then.

“But that’s all changed now,” Klaas said.

The bridge, which spans the Fox River in Millington at the Kendall-La Salle county border, has been closed for more than two years after the Illinois Department of Transportation initially closed the bridge in May 2017. That was after officials discovered a scour hole under the north pier of the bridge during a routine bridge inspection.

County officials previously attributed the project delays to consistently high water levels after one resident brought the matter back up to the County Board in June. County officials also said in July they were told that, even though water levels had dropped, the waters were still moving too fast for contractors to be in them, since they still have to take chainsaws to tree limbs and brush at the site.

Until work started up again last month, Klaas had said the river hadn’t been at a low enough level since October 2018 for the contractor to do anything. He had said it took about a year to put the plans together to fix the bridge, with part of the delay being due to waiting for La Salle County to receive federal funds for the about $1.6 million project.

Klaas said he honestly didn't know how much the recent high water levels would set back the project's completion date.

“The date to return back into the river is undetermined,” Klaas said.

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