Opponents to Red Gate Bridge Address the St. Charles City Council
Dozens voice their concerns as the council approves the engineering contract.
About a dozen St. Charles-area residents fired off concerns to the St. Charles City Council Monday night about the Red Gate Bridge project and the impact they believe it would have on the community.
"I've seen a number of accidents already on Red Gate Road," John Roggemann, a 12-year resident of St. Charles said. "Even today that road is not safe—soft shoulders, hills and curves make it very difficult to navigate that road."
Roggemann said the idea of more traffic on that road scared him. His sentiment was echoed by nearly a dozen people who addressed the council.
The project does have its supporters.
In April 2009, more than 2,200 St. Charles residents were surveyed to gauge public support for the bridge. Of those surveyed, more than 75 percent supported construction of additional bridges over the Fox River. Additionally, nearly 65 percent supported the Red Gate Bridge specifically.
After listening to public comment, the City Council unanimously approved a Phase II engineering contract with Chicago-based Alfred Benesch and Company. This engineering contract will include drafting of contract plans and specifications that will be used in public bid-letting to get started on the two-year-long project.
Safety was cited as a chief concern of those who spoke.
"For us this is a safety issue, we neither support nor oppose the bridge," said Joe Segobiano, president of the Rivers Edge subdivision. "Increased cut-through traffic will cause a dangerous situation and if the situation is not addressed it will only worsen.
"We're not opposed to the bridge," Segobiano added. "I just ask that the scope of work in the engineering phase please consider safety issues."
Other concerns were brought up by residents including potentially increases in lighting and noise as well as the possibility that a bridge, which allows motorists and pedestrians to bypass downtown St. Charles, might ultimately be detrimental to the St. Charles downtown business district.
"Why would you want to drive traffic away from your business district?" Roggemann asked. "I think this is a disservice to businesses that you want to reduce traffic."
With the approval of the engineering contact, construction is set to begin in spring 2011.
For more information about the Red Gate Bridge Project, visit www.redgatebridge.org.