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Work to Finally Begin on Bridge Project

Rich Egger

After years of talk, Macomb will make improvements to the Wigwam Hollow Road bridge over the Lamoine River.

Aldermen this week awarded the project to the lowest-bidder, County Contractors, Inc., for $1.3 million.

The city’s share is $480,000, which will come from sales tax money. The state will take care of the rest of the cost.

“It has been on the books for a number of years,” said Fourth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett. “We certainly wish it would be a little less expensive, but that happens with almost every project we’ve got.”

Mayor Mike Inman said it took so long to get to this point because the city was on a waiting list to receive state funding.

Dorsett said the project will bring the bridge up to standards, lowering the risk of accidents.

One accident at the bridge claimed the life of a teenager.  In February 2005, the car driven by Heather Roberts, 16, of Colchester, crashed through the guard rail at night and landed in the river.  She was not found until the next morning.

An autopsy determined she died from drowning, and a coroner’s jury suggested local authorities review and repair the bridge.

The Student Government Association at Western Illinois University has also weighed in on the bridge in the past, urging the city to add lighting near it.

The bridge project is scheduled to begin this spring and be finished about a year from now.

McClure Engineering will be paid $220,000 to supervise the project and make sure it finishes on time.