Kendall County officials dispute Millbrook Bridge demolition bill

$285,000 invoice remains unchanged despite emergency demolition of historic structure last August

The Kendall County Forest Preserve District is objecting to a final bill from a construction contractor that demolished the Millbrook Bridge last August.

“D” Construction, a construction firm out of Coal City, has invoiced the county $285,000 originally agreed upon for removal of the historic bridge that spanned the Fox River at the district’s Shuh Shuh Gah Canoe Launch near Millbrook.

But there’s just one problem. The demolition of the bridge did not happen as planned on Aug. 25 of last year. Matt Kellogg, a county board and forest preserve district commissioner, said “D” Construction reportedly placed heavy machinery on the bridge ten times the maximum weight recommended by an engineering report.

As a result, the bridge began to collapse and the contractor decided to do an emergency demolition on the spot. Hampton Lenzini & Renwick Inc (HLR), the county’s engineering contractor, was not on site at the time of the demolition. In the end, the historic Millbrook bridge met a haphazard demise, with about 15 pieces recovered down-river in the days following the demolition.

“Somebody’s at fault for this,” Kellogg said at a forest preserve district committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday. Jan. 12. “There shouldn’t have been the machine on the bridge...that $285,000 number is just ridiculous.”

According to county officials, “D” Construction’s original price tag for the bridge demolition has not changed either despite the discrepancy in actual man hours compared to the original contract. Nor is an itemized list of that cost available to county officials. The construction firm even billed the county an extra $7,352 to repair a pier damaged during the bridge’s emergency demolition. The total cost of the contract stands at $484,100.

“The fact that this happened the way it did is unfortunate,” said board member Amy Cesich. “We wanted to see that itemized bill... We want to pay fair, because ultimately the bridge is down. We do need to pay for something, but the fact of the matter is that it didn’t happen the way it was supposed to.”

The county is now set to confer with HLR, its engineering contractor, to determine an estimate for the bridge demolition, according to Dave Guritz, executive director of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District. County officials said they will also object to “D” Construction’s $7,352 invoice for repair of the damaged pier.

Guritz, County Board Chairman Scott Gryder and Judy Gilmour, a board member, will meet with the construction firm at a later date.