January 20, 2021

Eldamain Road extension, bridge project bid comes in far below initial estimate

Construction expected to begin next spring, pending award of contract

The low bid for Kendall County's long-awaited Eldamain Road extension and bridge project came in millions of dollars under the project's pre-bid estimate, according to County Engineer Fran Klaas.

Plote Construction Inc. & Dunnet Bay Construction Company submitted a bid of $34.5 million to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the project earlier this month, far below the original pre-bid estimate of $45 million, Klaas said.

He attributed the low bid price to a favorable bidding environment due to the state's Rebuild Illinois infrastructure program.

"There's a huge influx of money coming into the state for infrastructure," Klaas said, adding, "The timing was really good."

IDOT now has three weeks to finalize the bid and award a contract. County officials expect construction will begin next spring.

Pending IDOT approval, Plote Construction will build the roadway while Dunnet Bay Construction will construct the bridge, Klaas said.

Klaas said the county will provide between $3 million to $7 million in local funds for the project. Though IDOT officials still need to finalize the cost-sharing details, the county highway department initially projected making a $13 million contribution for the project, far below the current estimates.

County officials have been planning the Eldamain Road project for decades. The project will involve extending Eldamain Road south from River Road across the river to West Highpoint Road.

"It's really huge for Kendall County," said County Board Chairman Scott Gryder at a meeting earlier this month. "When they did the Rebuild Illinois program, they were looking for shovel ready projects.... You see now the benefit of having been ready to go the way we were."