Warm spell needed to wrap up Fabyan bridge project by mid-June

  • The westbound lanes of the Fabyan Parkway bridge near Geneva and Batavia are on tap for a June 15 completion. Crews need a week of overnight temperatures to be above 45 degrees, which likely won't happen until May, county officials said Tuesday.

      The westbound lanes of the Fabyan Parkway bridge near Geneva and Batavia are on tap for a June 15 completion. Crews need a week of overnight temperatures to be above 45 degrees, which likely won't happen until May, county officials said Tuesday. Harry Hitzeman | Staff Photographer

  • Construction crews could be back at the Fabyan Parkway bridge as early as next week to do about three weeks worth of prep work before concrete can be poured in May.

      Construction crews could be back at the Fabyan Parkway bridge as early as next week to do about three weeks worth of prep work before concrete can be poured in May. Harry Hitzeman | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/24/2020 8:17 PM

The delayed bridge deck reconstruction of the Fabyan Parkway Bridge needs warmer weather so a more durable concrete type can be poured, leaving the project with a worst-case completion date of June 15, a Kane County transportation official said.

Drivers have been frustrated by the bridge project, which was shut down late last year with two of four lanes completed. Work was hampered by wet and snowy weather, and even an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a nearby senior home.

 

Steve Coffinbargar, assistant director of the Kane County Department of Transportation, said Tuesday that overnight low temperatures must not fall below 45 degrees for a week in order for crews to pour latex concrete, which is less prone to cracking and has a longer life than traditional concrete.

County officials met Tuesday with the contractor. Based on historical data, officials hope the concrete can be poured "sometime in May" and the project could be done by June 15 at the latest, Coffinbargar said.

"It was a tough year last year. It's hard to predict the weather, especially the weather nowadays. That's part of the reason we're in this mess," said Coffinbargar, who noted there were measurable snowfalls last year on April 14 and Oct. 31. "We need a sustained warm spell; that's what we're up against."

In late March or early April, construction crews will begin about three weeks of preparation for a massive concrete paving machine, which runs on rails, to be brought in for the work, he said.

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Crews could be at the bridge, which borders Batavia and Geneva, as early as next week, Coffinbargar said.

He couldn't specify the life span of latex concrete compared to traditional concrete, but he said it will help extend the life of the bridge. He said the Fabyan bridge was erected in the early 1970s, and bridges usually have a life span of about 40 years. Officials hope the latex concrete will add 10 to 15 years to the bridge's life and provide time to complete other area road improvements.

County officials also are working with the state's department of transportation on a feasibility study for possible intersection improvements and realignment at Fabyan Parkway and Route 31, Coffinbargar said.

The state has jurisdiction over Route 31. Head-on crashes frequently occur with westbound traffic on Fabyan turning left, or south, onto Route 31.

Coffinbargar said the study will take shape this fall and involve meetings to obtain public input into any plan.

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