ELBURN – Engineering Enterprises Inc. provided village trustees on Jan. 2 with an estimate of $104,976 for what it would cost to install guardrails on either side of the Anderson Road bridge.
The village of Elburn obtained the estimate in response to concerns expressed by several residents for their safety when driving on the bridge.
However, whether or not the village would actually install guardrails may be determined by the results of a barrier warrant analysis: a study that looks at the slope of the embankment and the speed limit to determine whether guardrails are needed.
Several residents who attended the Committee of the Whole meeting Jan. 2 voiced their thoughts.
“This bridge should never have been accepted by the county,” former trustee Jerry Schmidt told the board.
However, Elburn Station developer Bob Skidmore said that Shodeen is opposed to additional guardrails, if they are not warranted.
“There already is an industrial look to the bridge,” he said. “We’d prefer a less industrial look, as it is a residential roadway.”
Schmidt’s wife, Lonna Schmidt, said she agreed with her husband. She said she personally does not feel safe driving north on the bridge, where she said the drop-off on the east side is “huge.”
“To me, safety comes before anything else,” she said.
Engineering Enterprises Inc. principal Dave Burroughs explained that since the project was partially funded with federal dollars, he would assume that Kane County had already conducted a barrier analysis before the road was built. He has placed a call to Kane County’s Department of Transportation to confirm that one had been done.
If an analysis was done and determined that guardrails were not warranted, the village would not be able to add them now.
Trustee Ken Anderson suggested that the village might again consider the possibility of a split-rail fence on the west side of the roadway where the bike path is located. He said that it would not address automobiles’ safety on the bridge, but it could be an extra safety measure for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Resident LeRoy Herra asked if anyone had looked at a different approach, such as the high-tension cable barriers used by the Illinois Tollway.
Once the village obtains confirmation on the outcome of an analysis, if it has already been done, officials will make the determination on next steps. Village Administrator John Nevenhoven said village officials will likely follow the recommendations of such an analysis.