Andrew Gasser Writes about Venetian Gardens Bridge Replacement

An email arrived from Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser in reply to some criticism from Clerk Karen Lukasik.  [I have emailed Lukasik for the content of her criticism, but have not received a reply.]

Here is Gasser’s reaction:

Edwards Road Bidding Process

Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser.

The clerk is raising questions about the legality of the Edwards Road Bridge Project.  I wanted to address them with everyone as to avoid any confusion.

As we know this is a program administered through the County’s Non-Dedicated Roads (NDR) program which uses Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) monies and falls under the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

The bridge in question is a county bridge and does not belong to the Algonquin Township Highway Department.

This is a state project utilizing MFT dollars.

The resolution governing this agreement specifically states:

WHEREAS, the next step in the process of transferring Edwards Road Nondedicated Subdivision Road within the Venetian Gardens Subdivision from the County to the Township …

IDOT has very specific rules for how MFT dollars are being spent and how projects are bid.

Attached you will see the Edwards Road Contactor’s Bulletin which meets the full letter of the law specifically with respect public notice.

Please see the Bureau of Local Roads and Streets Manual.

Attached you will see the Edwards Road Contractor’s Bulletin which meets the full letter of the law specifically with respect public notice.

This is the mentioned attachment.

Specifically 12-3.02(b)  State Required QBS Procedures using State, MFT, or TBP Funds

LPA MFT and State funded projects with local lettings are advertised in IDOT’s Notice to Contractors Bulletin.

The bulletin is published on a weekly basis and is issued each Thursday.

The bulletin is also available on IDOT’s website.

Each advertisement must appear in the bulletin not less than 11 days before the date on which bids are to be received.

This enables the advertisement to appear in at least two issues of the bulletin.

The IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin is a known, secure website, run by the state of Illinois which is a legally recognized government body.

Moreover, the IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin is advertised locally.

All responsible bidders are keenly aware of the IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin.

Here is the online links to the public notice with respect to the Edwards Road Bridge Project:

Additionally, here are links below where townships have used the IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin.  You will notice

Moreover, I have spoken with Mr. Jim Layden of IDOT, Chief Contracts Official, Bureau of Design and Environment and he has stated that the IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin satisfies the public notice component which seems to be the issue here.

I have also spoken with Mr. Jim Warner of McDOT and he is also in agreement that we are using MFT monies and also used the IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin in accordance with the Bureau of Local Roads & Streets Manual.

This is an life safety issue.

The situation that has been neglected for over a decade has resulted in no EMS or Fire Protection service to those who live on the other side of this bridge – at least one house has been lost due to fire.

This work needs to be done and it has been sufficiently letted, twice, in accordance with the rules of the funding vehicle requirements.

The bid met all requirements in the Bureau of Local Roads and Streets Manual (see link above).

Once construction is complete the Algonquin Township Highway Department shall assume responsibility for the new culvert that is replacing the bridge in accordance with the county board resolution.

The Bottom Line:

The Illinois Department of Transportation Contractor’s Bulletin meets all requirements for this project, including advertising locally.

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Here is the email from the Road District’s engineering firm:

Per your request, the following is an explanation of the advertising process for bids for the Edwards Road Culvert Over Fox River Tributary Man-Made Channel Culvert Replacement Section 17-00469-00-BR:

The current culvert is in portion of the Venetian Gardens subdivision in unincorporated Fox River Grove.

Algonquin Township requested and received funding of this project through the McHenry County Department of Transportation Non-dedicated Roads Program.

Based on the County’s funding the majority of the cost, and the use of Illinois State Motor Fuel Tax funds for that funding, the County and State protocols for procurement were followed.

These protocols direct that the project must be advertised in the Illinois Contractors Bulletin twice, and that only contractors pre-qualified under sections 9 (concrete construction) and 17 (highway structures) by the Illinois Department of Transportation are eligible to bid.

The project was published in the Bulletin on September 1 and September 8.

All contractors eligible to bid received the plans and special provisions.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Scott Pippen, Project Manager
Bollinger Lach & Associates


Andrew Gasser Writes about Venetian Gardens Bridge Replacement — 3 Comments

  1. I believe the issue at hand isn’t whether State, MFT, IDOT, or County laws were broken, it’s if state Township law was violated.

    Andrew has apparently taken on some oversite/control of the project which then puts it under state township laws which say you must advertise in a local county newspaper.

    Also at the bid opening the township clerk was to be present by law, but wasn’t even advised of the process.

    As a precaution the project should of been advertised in the newspaper like almost all other gov jobs over $20k are.

    Chalk up another lawyer $$$$$ making incident to inexperience.

  2. Doesn’t matter if should have the laws were followed.

    Just because you didn’t advertise in the paper does not mean that you didn’t follow transparency law.

    So small counties in Illinois that don’t have a local paper where are they suppose to advertise?

    Papers are drying up so advertising in them costs taxpayers lots of money compared to being online now a days.

    And to follow up on your government jobs over $20k I will understand that you missed the boat when Jack Franks hired his patronage employees under the County Board budget without advertising them!

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