ALGONQUIN – The section of the Prairie Trail that connects Algonquin and Crystal Lake could be open by November.
The popular bike and pedestrian path that connects the southern end of McHenry County to the Wisconsin border has been closed to through traffic because of a delay in replacing the bridge that takes the Prairie Trail over a small creek north of Meyer Drive.
The bridge was removed in February, and work on a new bridge was expected to be completed by April.
The supplier never delivered the bridge, said Ken Copenhaver, the owner of Copenhaver Construction, the firm originally hired to replace the bridge, adding that he offered to buy another bridge.
But the McHenry County Conservation District’s board of trustees decided to go with another firm, hiring Carmichael Construction Inc. at its meeting Thursday evening to finish the project.
The Marengo firm was the second-lowest bidder when the district originally solicited bids, district spokeswoman Wendy Kummerer said.
The conservation district will pay Carmichael Construction about $111,000, an amount calculated off its original bid of $198,500.
Copenhaver Construction, a firm based in Gilberts, originally had been awarded the bid for $165,000. The district has paid Copenhaver $55,197 for the site and other preparation work that was completed.
The district also paid a $40,000 deposit for the manufacturing cost of the bridge, which is still good, Kummerer said.
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.
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.