Hopps Road closed for bridge construction
By Dave Gathman email@example.com June 7, 2012 5:00PM
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:09AM
ELGIN TWP. — The westernmost part of Hopps Road will be closed for the rest of the summer starting Monday as a 50-year-old bridge over Otter Creek is replaced and the road’s approaches to the bridge are widened.
Elgin Township Highway Commissioner Rick Burnidge said Hopps will be closed to through traffic between Randall Road and Stevens Road. People who live along the road still will be able to drive to and from home but may have to take a roundabout route to get there.
Otter Creek Forest Preserve’s entrance, on the north side of Hopps just east of Stevens, also will be accessible, but only from the Stevens Road side of the bridge. Da Vinci Academy’s entrance at 37W080 Hopps will be accessible, but only from the Randall Road side of the bridge.
Burnidge said the closure will last about three months. During that time, traffic to and from west of the bridge should take Bowes Road to Nolan Road or McDonald Road to Stevens Road.
“According to a state mandate, the township’s bridges must be inspected every three years,” Burnidge said. He said the latest inspection disclosed “some maintenance issues,” but more importantly, that the bridge’s height and width no longer met state standards based on the increased number of vehicles driving along Hopps.
“I live on Stevens Road myself, and we have probably three times the traffic we had a few years ago,” Burnidge said.
The construction of rural housing developments in the area has led to increased traffic along Hopps toward Randall Road. Meanwhile, drivers’ quest for alternative north-south routes and access to the 1-year-old Stearns Road Bridge across the Fox River have led to increased flow from Bowes Road southward along Nolan Road, then eastward along Hopps and southward along Stevens to McDonald Road, which connects to Randall and Stearns.
The existing bridge is too narrow for a road so heavily traveled, Burnidge said. “The white (side-of-the-road) lines are basically at the edge of the bridge. There are no shoulders.” So the new bridge will be wider, with enough breathing space for two wide vehicles going opposite directions to pass each other.
He said about 200 feet of the road also will be widened a bit to line up with the new, wider bridge. And the new bridge will be higher above the creek, to reduce chances of the bridge being flooded when the creek rises.
Traffic isn’t the only thing that has gone up over the years. Burnidge noted that when the State Street bridge across the river in South Elgin was replaced about 25 years ago — a much longer and more elaborate building project — it cost only about $1.5 million. The modest new Otter Creek bridge and approach work will cost between $960,000 and $1 million.
But at least only about one-fourth of that will come from local taxing bodies, Burnidge said. He said the township and Kane County will pay about $100,000 each, with the rest coming from federal and state sources.