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Grundy board OKs funding for Brisbin Road work

MORRIS – The Grundy County Board approved $559,000 for future improvements to a two-and-half-mile stretch of Brisbin Road, stretching from the new interchange to Sherill Road.

Two years ago, the county unveiled the new Brisbin Road interchange for Interstate 80 after spending several years of planning and securing funding for the multi-million dollar project.

“The whole idea behind that $30 million dollar interchange was to build up the industrial area near there,” Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson said Wednesday.

Based on land use surveys from various municipalities and Grundy County, Brisbin Road is expected to see a substantial increase of industrial traffic thanks in large part to the new interchange. But in its current condition, the road cannot accommodate the anticipated industrial traffic.

“We could get up to 40,000 vehicles a day, according to projections from land use,” said Craig Cassem, Grundy County engineer, during Tuesday’s County Board meeting.

Severson said the new road improvements also will decrease the amount of industrial traffic mixing with regular traffic along Route 6 as wide load trucks will be able to use Brisbin and Sherill roads as their main routes.

“Now, [industrial traffic] will have an 80,000-pound road to accommodate them,” Severson said.

The project will add 170 feet of right-of-way and make structural improvements to the road.

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

The $559,000 approved Tuesday will be used to pay a consulting firm for drafting designs for the project.

“The project is in our five-year plan,” Cassem said. “We anticipate starting construction as early as next year.”

This project will coincide with a similar project funded by Kendall County, which will make improvements to Sherill and Grove roads.

“Kendall County is expecting more traffic from the new interchange also,” Cassem said.

Brisbin Road intersects with Sherill Road after about two and a half miles. Sherill Road then intersects Grove Road, which runs into Route 52, a major highway in Kendall County.

With this pathway of roads being improved, industrial traffic can move from Interstate 80 to Route 52 much quicker than before.

Cassem said that, before starting construction in 2015, the highway department will need to secure more funding and sign intergovernmental agreements with Morris and Minooka.

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