Public Meeting Reveals Development Concepts for US 52/IL 64 Bridge
The Savanna/Sabula Bridge opened December 31, 1932. After 80 years of service to the two communities, it is time to be replaced.
(Courtesy of the Savanna Historical Society)
By Michael Miller | For The Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – The Savanna/Sabula Bridge, constructed in 1932, is slated to be replaced with a safer and more efficient model.
A public meeting at the West Carroll Primary School in Savanna, IL detailed plans, rationale, and development stages for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s new IL52/IA 64 Savanna/Sabula bridge, on Wednesday, June 27th.
A PowerPoint presentation and subsequent question and answer opportunity with IDOT officials and project engineers revealed three development stages for the project.
Phase I was (and is) the Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Study Phase, which began in 2011 with Project Initiation and Data Collection, and is now in the Preliminary Concepts stage. Phase I is projected to take about twelve months. The groups involved in this study include IDOT, IADOT (Iowa Department of Transportation), FHWA (the Federal Highway Administration), as well as others. The plan is to keep the bridge open during the construction, so as not to inconvenience drivers with a 40 mile detour.
Design approval should occur sometime in mid-2013 (during which a Preferred Alternative is approved), after which Phase II, or Final Design and Land Acquisition, will begin. This stage is scheduled to last until about 2015, at which point, the final stage, Construction, will occur. All three phases of this project are being funded by IDOT’s 2013-2013 Highway Improvement Program.
The stated purpose of the project is “to replace a functionally obsolete and structurally deficient bridge across the Mississippi River with one that meets current standards. The current bridge’s deficiencies include the fact that it cannot accommodate disabled vehicles or bicycle traffic. The bridge is also just 26 feet wide, well under the minimum deck width of 32 feet required (40 feet if bike traffic is accommodated). The bridge has a safety deficiency with this narrow roadway width as wider vehicles encroach into the opposing lane. This substandard width has contributed to crashes on the bridge.
Repairs have been conducted to the bridge over the years; in 1985, major repairs were made, and in 1999, minor repairs were made. In 2008, a partial replacement of the grid steel deck was made.
IDOT is openly soliciting public input. Their official media pamphlet states that “an important element of project success and acceptance is effective stakeholder involvement, from the very early stages of the study, through and including the identification and approval of solutions. Throughout the study process, IDOT will be utilizing an inclusive public involvement approach that provides opportunities for all project stakeholders to become involved. A stakeholder is defined as anyone who could be affected by the project and has a stake in its outcome. IDOT is committed to gather and duly consider project input from all interested parties by promoting public involvement and communication with stakeholders during the entirety of the project. The process contributes to the selection of an improvement design that fits into its surroundings, and strives to preserve scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while maintaining safety and mobility.”
Two possible design concepts are being considered for the project; the “tied arch” alternative and the “cable stayed” alternative. A definition of a “tied arch” bridge and a graphic representation thereof may be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tied_arch_bridge, and similar information concerning a “cable stayed” bridge may be accessed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable-stayed_bridge.
The project will also include reconstruction of IL 84 at the northerly limits of Savanna.
Bill Olsen, an engineering consultant with Parsons, says that the total project cost should be around 60 million dollars, and says that it will probably take two years, with another year for the demolition.
More information about the project may be found at www.dot.state.il.us/us52il64/infocenter.html.