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.
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.