'Unmatched' Cooperation Brought Together for Red Gate Bridge
St. Charles and other local officials tout the benefits of the bridge project at the Thursday morning groundbreaking.
They say it takes a village to raise a family. For St. Charles, a combination of government resources at all levels in Illinois will come together to build the Red Gate Bridge.
Officials gathered Thursday morning for the groundbreaking ceremony at the intersection of Route 31 and Red Gate Road for the $30 million project.
Mayor Don DeWitte reminded those in attendance of the “unmatched” scope of agencies brought together the long-talked-about project—state and county transportation departments, local municipalities and federal agencies.
“You start to get a picture of just how many people it takes to build a bridge,” DeWitte said.
For Kane County Board Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay, who said it felt like “déjà vu” after cutting the ribbon in December for Stearns Road Bridge located just to the north of Red Gate's proposed site, the bridge project's lasting benefit for the community stands out.
"Together, we have a made an investment in our communities that will last beyond our lifetimes,” McConnaughay said.
Including other members of Kane County government and other St. Charles officials, the groundbreaking also drew state Sen. Chris Lauzen, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke—who was thanked for help in securing $2 million in funding for the Red Gate Bridge
DeWitte also identified the benefits that proponents of Red Gate Bridge say will bring.
Fire departments and police will have another access across the river, thereby assisting public safety, DeWitte said. Transporting children from home to school across the river will be more easy.
The new bridge will alleviate congestion in downtown St. Charles and, by 2030, it will have 15,000 cars crossing a day, officials say.
If nothing else, this project will show that responsible building is possible, local governments can invest in infrastructure and that people can be put back to work, DeWitte said.
“If the private sector is unable to do it, then the public sector must,” he said.