Edwards Road Bridge Replacement Delayed

The failing Edwards Road Bridge project spearheaded by Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser has been delayed.  The Fox River Grove Fire Department will not allow its equipment to cross the bridge.  At least one home has been lost on the island due to a lack of service from the fire department.

Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik questioned the legality of the bid process after she discovered the bid was not placed in a local newspaper.  Instead, the engineering firm Bollinger, Lach, and Associates (a campaign contributor to Miller) utilized the IDOT Contractor’s Bulletin to advertise the project.  The bulletin is advertised statewide but not in a local newspaper.

The crumbling Edwards Street Bridge.

Gasser championed the bridge replacement as a county board member and made it a campaign promise should he defeat long time incumbent Robert J. Miller.  Utilizing the county’s Non-Dedicated Roads (NDR) program Gasser worked with the county board to have the bridge slated as a top priority to be replaced with the understanding that the Algonquin Township Highway Department would list the bridge under the township road system.

Gasser, and IDOT, contended that the project was adequately noticed.  However, Algonquin Township Attorney Jim Kelly disagreed.  Kelly points out Gasser and the engineering firm followed IDOT protocols but the IDOT protocols did not meet township code.


Records show that the bridge had five credible bidders:

  • Lorig Construction $663,761.00
  • Dunnet Construction $576,557.41
  • Martam Construction $585,216.00
  • Alliance Construction $569,631.29
  • Copenhaver Construction $455,596.05

All five contractors met the pre-qualifications set forth by IDOT.  The contract was awarded to Copenhaver and the contract was to be signed Wednesday.

It is now doubtful the bridge will be constructed before winter.


Edwards Road Bridge Replacement Delayed — 41 Comments

  1. Local politics at its worst.

    We have waited for almost a decade to have this bridge fixed.

    We were promised for years by Miller that he would fix it.

    Only empty promises.

    To be this close and have so many professionals pushing to fix the bridge, only to have it slapped down by the clerk, is heartbreaking.

    Cal, do we know when Gasser will rebid the project?

  2. This is so sad. I am sad for those people who live on the other side of that bridge who have no fire or ambulance service.

    We have friends who live on Lagoon and are absolutely livid.

    Reading that opinion from the attorney makes it sound like everyone at IDOT, the county, and the township was on the same page.

    I hope the county doesn’t take the money away from the project.

    The bridge was bid in August and I wonder why the clerk waited before filing her complaint?

    I could care less for Gasser or Lukasik.

    This is a loss for the constituents and we should all be asking Gasser and Lukasik what went wrong.

    I find it hard to believe Gasser would submarine a project he has worked on for years.

    I find it hard to believe that the engineering firm, McDOT, and IDOT, would purposely lead Gasser down the wrong road on purpose.

    I feel bad for the people who thought they were getting their bridge fixed. It looks in horrible shape.

  3. Any loss of life or property will fall on the ones behind this petty political move.

    Shameful many of the players are FRG residents and one player even has a spouse collecting a pension after a long career in the village.

    The residents who are paying all your salaries
    Deserve better.

    Let’s put the petty crap aside and do the right thing before there is further loss of property or worse.

  4. Gasser,

    We are watching you.

    You have two promises left that you have yet to deliver on.

    It looks like you will fail on the promise of the bridge in a year… perhaps a bridge too far.

    And where is the tax cut?

    Has anyone even seen the bridge design work from the engineering firm, or any of the permits?

    I wonder if those are screwed up too?

  5. IDOT is the standard for advertising these bids.

    It’s where the contractors look.

    What a shame if it is politics delaying this project

  6. Rules are rules except for the “round mound” County Board Chairman and his ‘so-called Republican’ supporters.

    Wake up folks!

  7. Why not a temporary Bailey bridge?

    Tanks have no problem crossing them.

  8. Kelly is Booby Miller’s douche.

    That’s all one needs to know about this teapot tempest.

  9. This bridge is structurally unsound and as such presents a danger to
    the anyone who uses it.

    This situation is an immediate safety issue and should be treated as such,
    and emergency funding must be appropriated at once, no excuses.

    Perhaps a lawsuit on behalf of the residents is called for to expedite replacement of said bridge.

  10. Why didn’t the township clerk follow the legal job required statute 605 ILCS 5/6-202.6?

    Public safety should trump obstructionism!

  11. From reading this blog it seems Cal and Andrew are trying to pass the mistake on to the clerk.
    Yet all the clerk was doing was protecting the twh from more legal expenses.

    Here’s the story the county was supposed to bid the NDR project and complete it and then the twp would take it from them with a jurisdictional transfer.

    But Gasser wanted all the credit for it related to his campaign promise, so he had it transferred to the twp before the bridge was completed.

    Problem is then he had to bid it properly which because of the $20k rule requires advertising in a local newspaper.

    Because if a lack of experience, he has no idea what he is doing and he botched the bid, his fault entirely.

    He was taking advice from people also inexperienced in twh gov and apparently didn’t even consult the twh lawyer about the bid process.

    I’d have to wonder if past clerk and now supervisor was advised of the bid or asked for advice because he had already been through that process.

    Maybe Chuck dropped the ball also a tad.

    Most people say the buck stops with the boss, but not on this blog apparently.

  12. Abe, The bridge was declared unsafe before the NDR program.

    The road and bridge was a private property deal, not a NDR deal yet.

    No gov agencies could be taken to court becuase it was owned by the home owners.

    The home owners should of fixed their own bridge, rather than expecting us all to share in the cost though our tax dollars.

  13. The real story here is that the cost of the bridge repair is equal to 160% of the Miller family payroll that Algonquin Township use to pay.

    The clerk and the majority of the trustees ought to take a look in the mirror and figure out why they want to continue to carry the Millers family water.

    This will end badly.

  14. @nob – This info tends to complicate matters, however it should not
    be allowed to trump pubic safety in this matter.

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what is to transpire and hope
    that nothing bad happens in the meantime.

    BTW, Thanks for the good info !

  15. Prior to the NDR program Alg twh always gave almost 100% of MFT funding to the roads not dedicated as twh roads.

    A little over $160k a year divided by somewhere around 30 miles of road.

    Not much realistically.

    Property tax funding had to be spent on dedicated roads.

  16. Abe the major reason NDR program came into being is that years ago the county allowed private sub standard roads plotted even for that time in history.

    Standards are way higher now which complicates the problem.

    So if any agency should be responsible it the County not the twh.

    The County is stepping up, but that means MFT is being moved from dedicated roads to NDR.

    Most county road repair could be delayed a tad, but for how long?

    Will making the NDR people happy some day cause major problems with already roads that are behind perfered repair cycles?

    NDR properties pay a tad less on taxation because of crap roads, location location, part of the assessors job.

    I’d like them to have dedicated roads, but why do I have to pay with part of my taxation so they can play?

    Complicated, Yamon!

  17. Clerk should worry about the books.

    Just a political stunt on clerks end so it seems.

  18. Well Cal whoever gave you the Letter?

    You really are a senile old fool

  19. Nob:

    Is it true you were fired by the Village of Cary?

    Is it true you were an employee of Bob Miller?

    Is it true you got a job at Cuba Township because of Bob Miller?

    I do not care what you say or how you try and smear people.

    Andrew Gasser was building the bridge with the county and IDOT.

    It is clear that the project was following the rules prescribed by IDOT and that the clerk stopped this.

    You claim to know that “But Gasser wanted all the credit for it related to his campaign promise, so he had it transferred to the twp before the bridge was completed.”

    How do you know this?

    Who told you?

    Produce evidence or is this just your opinion?

    Gasser has held meetings in our neighborhood, he went door to door in our neighborhood, and never once talk in the manner you describe.

    He invited questions and took feedback from us.

    All of us were happy with the work Gasser and the highway department were doing.

    All we ever got we lies and broken promises from your old boss.

    Records from McHenry County show that Bob Miller, and his wife Anna May Miller, were against the program.

    It is my opinion that it is very shady that Anna May Miller was making over $90,000 a year as an employee of her husband while she was also the chairman of the Transportation Committee.

    The same committee that oversees the NDR program.

    This has nothing to do with Local 150 or lawyers like you say.

    This has to do with political payback.

    I have been told and verified this bridge project was voted on and approved by the McHenry County Board.

    I have been told by Gasser this project has all the necessary permits.

    Gasser would not say if he belived the project was stopped for political reasons…

    …but we do. We see it.

    I just hope the project will be rebid soon.

  20. Thank you -fix the bridge

    you’ve set the record straight.

    And now we have the township attorney Kelly joining the Millers Lukasik, Nob and others.

    This selfish vendetta may cause homeowners great harm and hardship, that should be laid at the feet of these puppets.

    Hopefully, there will be a way to get this built as soon and safely as possible.

  21. Nob is an idiot (like I have been telling you!). He is up to no good and he is as stupid as the Millers. Thank you, Fix!!

  22. I bet Doodie would know.

    Maybe he was the highway commissioner for Cuba township during that time.

  23. The whole truth brings up an interesting point.

    Let’s add another name to the Miller chain.

    When you talk about Cuba Township, it’s probably common knowledge that Tom Gooch, the Millers attorney, was at one time the Cuba Township Highway Commissioner.

    You may want to Google the name Tom Gooch Cuba Township and bring up news article about Gooch and township employee.

  24. Is the Clerk too busy looking at the bid process that she hasn’t posted the minutes for the Board meetings for August and September?

    Does the township attorney have an explanation?

  25. In 1974 I passed a bill that allowed MFT to be used on non-dedicated subdivision roads.

  26. Fix the Bridge your answers,

    Yes, as were three other VOC employees within a short time span.

    All four were in relation to disagreements with an administrator the was playing games with funding to make himself look good at taxpayers’ expense.

    He won, till he got fired himself.

    Yes, late 70s for a year under Del, then more recently as a senior bus driver on Monday’s, which I gave up doing the spring of 2016 before the primary.

    Yes, Cuba was looking for an experience employee and Bob recommended me.

    Your next three questions all only need one answer;

    I’m experienced with the bidding process and need to always advertise locally any time the bid is over $20k, a transparency deal that avoids lawyer’s fees.

    The proof is right here in the blog above, the clerk objected and the twh lawyer’s opinion which would mean nothing legally had he been more patient and let the county bid the project, then accepts the results as the NDR details.

    There would have been no need to rebid the project, but that isn’t how it turned out did it?

    I also respect Andrew for what you covered in your next paragraph and some of the work he did on the county board, and even personally told him so.

    One action by Andrew just before leaving the County board was political genesis in relation to Jack Franks 10% deal; we may see an actual levy reduction by the County, which oddly enough is opposed by
    many on this blog.

    Next paragraph first sentence: I you feel that way, fine.

    Records show that Alg twh gave what funding it could to the NDR before the county adopted the program, as did Nunda, where McHenry twh didn’t at all.

    At the meeting before the vote on NDR program which I attended, Anna said in the discussion period she was against the program as proposed because it didn’t include all Alg twh NDRs, and that is why she voted against it.

    The main ram rod was the people in McHenry twh with Nick P., Andrew did jump on the politically favorable band wagon of course.
    he NDR program is an increase in government, that I obviously have issues with, the eight million proposed IMO will easily jump to over 50 million eventually.

    From a tax payers perspective, if you look at McH and Nunda twh’s admin for their Road dept, both have two employees doing what Anna did alone, and now Alg twh has two employees also in admin.

    If you got the impression my NWH ref was about the union, I’m sorry, it was intended only to show more than me are against the excessive spending on lawyers.

    The NWH story should have included more on the Clerk and Supervisors lawyer cost also.

    FtB and whoever your informants are, the personal attacks to try and discredit my comments, well
    nice try, but I don’t hide my past.

    Andrew won, he is my Road Commissioner, what happened prior means nothing, only the future matters, and I have issues with the present tend obviously.

    Call or email me Andrew, let’s set a time talk and I’ll buy you breakfast or something.

  27. Thanks Nob for the truth regarding the delay in the bridge replacement.

  28. Half a million dollars to support safe transit for 14 homes.

    Needs to be done.

    Why won’t Cal cry foul?

  29. Yes Karen and so would the Armored M60A1 bridge that can span 60 ft. There are two alterantive crossings sights that could be used that would not impede the new bridge work also.

  30. Selfish vendetta you say.

    I say laws and rules need to be followed or why have them. The Clerk is just doing her job.

    Just wondering when the “ PINK” truck purchase will make this blog

  31. The contractor bulletin is available to every contractor in the state.

    Placing a local ad in a paper when the documents specify an IDOT-prequalified contractor is required for concrete and bridge work isn’t going to generate additional bids.

    This is like being pulled over for driving 2 MPH over the speed limit.

    Yes it’s by the letter of the law not in compliance with the designated speed limit but really??? The only people who suffer here are the homeowners.

    No local contractor was in any way shape or form cut out of the process.

    IDOT, MCDOT, and the engineering firm followed the correct process for the use of MFT funds.

    In the meantime, the legal bills just keep adding up.

    So dumb.

  32. So exactly why didn’t wonderful Bob Miller fix the bridge on his trip to Disneyland? Could Bob have fixed the bridge between going out for lunch at Hooters and Round The Clock?

    Give the new guy a break he’s trying to do an honest job and has been in office for such a short time. These people who complain simply aren’t following the golden rule. How well could they get the bridge fixed in any shorter time.

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