Anderson Road bridge opens in Elburn
Kane County Board member Drew Frasz stepped up to the microphone, proud to be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for the Anderson Road bridge in Elburn, which is in his district.
"You are just going to have to trust us that there is a big, beautiful bridge just down the road there," he said, drawing a laugh about the fog that made it impossible to see the bridge, a little more than a half-mile to the south of the crowd set up near Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School.
Monday really was the first day it was open to automobile traffic. County officials, who were in charge of the project, were especially proud of that, because it was not due to open until the spring.
It was not ready for walkers and bicyclists Monday, as protective chain-link fencing on the west side of the bridge had not been installed.
The bridge was 20 years in the making, Elburn President Dave Anderson said. He spoke of how it will provide unimpeded access for firetrucks and ambulances to get over the Union Pacific railroad tracks, and how truck traffic can use Anderson instead of Route 47 to avoid downtown Elburn. And he noted that eventually bicycle trails will connect to the east and west.
Anderson gave credit to current and former village, county and federal officials, including former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Hastert helped secure $10.15 million in federal money. The construction cost $14.4 million.
The bridge, and road extension to Route 38, will split the Elburn Crossing residential and business development Shodeen Inc. plans to build.
After the ceremony, many in the crowd got in their cars and drove over the bridge. They went past Herlihy Construction labor foreman Joe Manor of Wasco, who was finishing a few tasks. Manor said he will use the bridge to get to other job sites.
"This is going to be great for me," Manor said.