MCCD seeks new contractor for Prairie Trail project

Conservation district seeks new contractor for Prairie Trail project

ALGONQUIN – The bridge that takes the Prairie Trail over a small creek north of Meyer Drive was supposed to be replaced earlier this year.

The McHenry County Conservation District awarded the project to Copenhaver Construction Inc. of Gilberts. The bridge was removed in February, and work on a new bridge was expected to be completed by April.

But no replacement bridge has been built.

The supplier never delivered the bridge, Copenhaver Construction owner Ken Copenhaver said, adding that he offered to buy another bridge, but the conservation district declined.

The McHenry County Conservation District Board of Trustees voted Thursday evening to terminate with cause the contract, and district staff hopes to finish the project with another bidder, spokeswoman Wendy Kummerer said.

The company disputes that the termination was valid, said Copenhaver’s attorney, John Chitkowski, adding that he and his client had not decided on what their next step would be.

In the meantime, the Prairie Trail, a popular bike and pedestrian path that connects the southern end of McHenry County to the Wisconsin border, is closed to through traffic.

A new bridge could be in place by late October or next spring depending on the new contractor’s schedule and weather, Kummerer said.

The Meyer Drive parking lot is open for the trail’s southbound users, and those headed north can park near the playground in the Willow Road subdivision.

The district did not provide an alternative route because of the Algonquin bypass construction and the lack of sidewalks along the busy road.

Updates on the bridge can be found at the district’s website, mccdistrict.org, and regular trail users can sign up for alerts by emailing MCCD@mccdistrict.org.

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