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updated: 1/28/2011 8:02 AM

We're working on fixing bridges

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The McHenry County Division of Transportation (MCDOT) applauds the Daily Herald for the attention it gave our area's deteriorating bridge infrastructure in the Dec. 22 "Breaking Point" article.

I would like to take the opportunity to share with you what is and what has been done in McHenry County to address this important issue. Of the 22 deficient bridges listed for McHenry County, 16 of them are the responsibility of the MCDOT and the 17 township road districts it serves. Three of the bridges listed have been reconstructed (Alden Road -- November 2010, Allendale Road -- October 2009, and Kishwaukee Valley Road -- June 2010).

The McHenry County Board has made one if its strategic plan goals to specifically address McHenry County's aging bridge infrastructure. To that end, the remainder of the 13 structurally deficient bridges under the MCDOT's jurisdiction listed in the article are either scheduled for construction this year, or are in various stages of design for replacement in the county board-approved Five-Year Highway Improvement Program.

Like other agencies mentioned in the article, the MCDOT utilizes Federal Highway Bridge Program dollars as a key component to our bridge program. It is important to understand that it can take anywhere from three to five years to navigate the federal approval process to utilize these funds for design and construction of these important bridges on our transportation network. So while these bridges continue to deteriorate, McHenry County is doing everything in its power to address this important issue.

Joseph R. Korpalski Jr.

McHenry County Director of Transportation

County Engineer