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Highway committee discusses waiving wide loads fee for Brisbin Road

MORRIS – Local drivers could see fewer wide loads mixing with regular traffic if the county waives the wide load fee for Brisbin Road.

During last Thursday’s meeting, the Grundy County Highway Committee discussed waiving the wide load fee for those using Brisbin Road, the 400-foot interchange located between Morris and Minooka that allows trucks to access Interstate 80.

“Rather than hinder those companies, we wanted to cooperate with them and get more businesses using that road,” said Jim Ryan, Grundy County Highway Committee chairman.

Grundy County Engineer Craig Cassem said the fee for most wide loads is $30 a load.

Brisbin Road was unveiled last fall after more than 12 years of planning and construction. The interchange was built to serve as an industrial corridor for Grundy County and ease industrial traffic in Morris, Minooka and Channahon.

In an effort to increase traffic to Brisbin, the committee agreed that the fee should be waived.

“Clients on the east side of town often have wide loads,” said Nancy Norton Ammer, executive officer of Grundy Economic Development Council, who presented at Thursday’s meeting. “I talked with some of them about why they weren’t using Brisbin Road and one of the reasons was they had to buy a permit.”

Utility Concrete Products in Morris is one company that prompted this proposal as it will have an increase in wide loads in the coming year for a construction project, Ryan said.

“This is for all wide loads using Brisbin Road, not just that company,” Cassem said.

Ammer said the eastern part of Route 6 is often crowded by the wide loads who use the route to avoid paying the Brisbin Road fee. She said by waiving the fee, there should be less traffic congestion in town caused by the wide loads.

“The less that we can mix industrial truck traffic with cars and people doing their shopping, the better it is for everybody,” Ammer said.

The committee also discussed financing future improvement projects for Brisbin Road at Thursday’s meeting.

“With the new interchange, we’re anticipating new traffic and new development along that road,” Cassem said. “Right now it’s just a little country road and we need to upgrade it to standards that will handle the anticipated traffic.”

Cassem said the proposed project is estimated to cost $7 million dollars with $5 million funded through bonds and the remaining $2 million coming from the highway fund.

Cassem said among other improvements, the county wants to build a new, two and a half mile long two-lane road.

“We’re looking at construction for 2015,” Cassem said. “We don’t have plans designed yet, but we are headed in that direction.”

Before the project can move forward, the Grundy County Board and Finance Committee will need to approve the financing and intergovernmental agreements between all cities will need to be signed.

“We are looking to recapture the money we used to build the road,” Cassem said.

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