State testing Springfield-Harrison

State testing Springfield-Harrison

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Winnebago County Engineer Joe Vanderwerff thinks Rockford Blacktop Construction Co., the contractor on the Harrison-

Springfield extension, is to blame for problems with the road.

The portion of the road being built across the former Ditzler property on Cunningham

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Road has developed a large hole and is sinking.

“We believe it’s a construction issue,” Vanderwerff said. “We don’t believe the contractor compacted his backfill. We’re going to do some more testing.”

The contractor dumped several truckloads of gravel into the hole, filling it to the top of the concrete roadway. That fill has settled several inches since being installed.

“There’s been a problem with the embankment. There’s been a little bit of settlement,” said John Wegmeyer, project engineer for the Dixon district office of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“We’ve taken some core samples,” Wegmeyer said. “We met with the county this morning (Monday), and we’ll be taking some different core samples in the next couple of days to try to determine what the problem is and what the best solution is,” Wegmeyer said.

Sue Grans, spokeswoman for William Charles, Inc., the umbrella company for Rockford Blacktop, had scant comment on the assertion by Vanderwerff.

“If there’s a problem, we need to look into it, and we need to get it fixed,” she said. “That’s what we’re going to do. I’m not going to point fingers at anyone.”

Work has temporarily been suspended at the site. Vanderwerff said construction is waiting on completion of a water main installation on the west side of the new roadway. He said the city had requested the main be included in the project contract.

Bob Nimmo, city water division superintendent, confirmed the main was being installed and that hydrants were also going in. “Typically, it would be that way if there’s going to be any development along it at all. It’s pretty common,” Nimmo said.

He added that hydrants are generally spaced every 300 feet in a commercial area and every 500 feet in a residential zone.

Reportedly, there also are some problems with the new bridge built over the Canadian Pacific Railroad line which crosses the property. Reports say the ground below the bridge appears to be washing out, and some concrete on the bridge has hairline cracks.

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