Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers went on strike June 7 at more than 30 quarries and mines across northern Illinois.
Aggregate materials including sand, gravel and crushed stone, indispensable for the production of concrete, are no longer being extracted because of the labor dispute.
Until now, Kendall County officials were forecasting that the Eldamain bridge would be completed before the end of the year, well ahead of schedule.
A prolonged strike could quickly slow down the bridge work.
“This puts the opening in jeopardy,” Kendall County Highway Engineer Fran Klaas said. “If the strike is not resolved soon, the bridge opening will get pushed to next year. This could really mess things up.”
The Eldamain Road bridge is just the eighth Fox River crossing location in Kendall County and the first to be built since the Orchard Road bridge opened in 2001.
It is about 5 miles between the Route 47 bridge in downtown Yorkville and the Fox River Drive crossing south of Plano.
The 1,557-foot span will be Kendall County’s longest. It is supported by seven piers in a simple design Klaas describes as “very utilitarian.”
The two-lane bridge is engineered to allow for a relatively easy expansion to four lanes if needed someday.
Planning for the bridge and roadway extension dates to 1992, when a centerline was recorded.
Preliminary engineering began about 15 years ago and the county spent many years working through environmental impact issues. Construction started in March 2021.
Funding for the project comes mostly from the state and federal governments, along with Kendall County Transportation Tax funds.