ROCK FALLS – The four-lane road across the state Route 40 bridge over the Hennepin Feeder Canal is deteriorating and needs to be replaced, the state Department of Transportation says.
“If we don’t replace it in the next couple years, we’re going to have to post it for load limits, have to restrict trucks and weight of vehicles that could go over,” John Wegmeyer, IDOT’s project implementation engineer, said Monday.
The repairs will cost $3.3 million. Two lanes will be shut down at a time, leaving one northbound and one southbound lane open. “It will be very similar to what we did over the Rock River,” he said.
The deck-beam bridge will be replaced with a steel-beam bridge, and it will be raised a bit. The bike path that runs underneath it will be rerouted up and over Route 40.
The repairs will be conducted from the banks of the canal, and are not expected to impact the waterway, he said.
Because the road runs over IDNR property, IDOT must get a permit from its sister agency.
The IDNR has published information and is seeking comments on the project. IDOT will assess any concerns that are raised and address them if possible.
If bids are taken in March, as planned, work will begin May 1. The contractor will be able to choose whether to complete half the project this year and the other half the next year.
If it is done all at once, it must be completed by Thanksgiving, Wegmeyer said.
According to the IDNR, comments or complaints must address any obstruction to or interference with the public's navigability of the canal; any encroachment of the canal; and the impairment of the rights, interests or uses of the canal.
The written statements, due Feb. 8, may be sent to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources: One Natural Resources Way; Springfield, IL 62702.