Summit Avenue Bridge in Collinsville to be rebuilt

News-DemocratMarch 7, 2014 

— Residents near Summit Avenue will have six months of detours, but a new bridge by early next year.

The Summit Avenue Bridge will be replaced this year, thanks to a partnership between the state and the city of Collinsville. The bridge, located just south of Johnson Hill, will cost about $750,000 to replace.

The City Council has approved a joint project with the Illinois Department of Transportation, in which the state will cover 75 percent of the cost, or $562,000.

Mayor John Miller congratulated the street department staff on acquiring the funding, which he said was only one of many proposals submitted in a pool of applications, from which the East-West Gateway Regional Council chose the winning projects. "It says a lot about our street department," Miller said.

The bridge, which carries Summit Avenue over Brush Creek, is set to break ground in August. Detours will be mandatory, officials said, but construction should be finished in about six months.

The remaining $188,000 of the bridge's cost will come from the city's tax increment district fund.

Councilman Mike Tognarelli, who retired as street director for the city before his election to the City Council, said it was a perfect example of using TIF funds for the benefit of the entire community by spending it on infrastructure.

City Manager Scott Williams said that the city's TIF budget for capital expenditures like roads and bridges in 2014 is $4,809,110. The TIF grant program, which assists businesses in the TIF district with awnings, windows and other renovations, is budgeted at $70,000, or about 1.5 percent of TIF expenditures for the year. For example, a TIF grant recently was approved for the owners of 301 W. Main St. for $2,021 toward the installation of new, energy-efficient windows.

"The conversation (last week) was meant to negate the criticism that we hear from time to time that the city gives away money from TIF for grant awards instead of using the money for water lines, sewers, bridges, etc." Williams said.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 618-239-2507.

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