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Kendall backs state order to fix railroad crossings

Updated: March 10, 2013 6:20AM

YORKVILLE — Kendall County this week agreed to support an Illinois Commerce Commission order to make the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad fix some crossings in the county.

The ICC, in what is called a stipulated agreement, wants the railroad to fix four crossings, three of which are in Kendall County.

Two of them are in Yorkville, at Mill Road and Kennedy Road, and another is in unincorporated Kendall County, at Little Rock Road. The fourth is at Racine Avenue in Chicago.

The ICC agreement would have the railroad pay $204,924 in labor for work at the crossings, and take care of hiring private contractors to do the work. The state would pay $306,397 for materials for the work, out of the Grade Crossing Protection Fund, which is money collected as part of the state Motor Fuel Tax.

Kendall County, Yorkville and Chicago would pay nothing. But they are part of the agreement because they have to agree to any traffic detour pattern the railroad devises during construction. That’s because the work is being done on county or city streets.

Because of that, Kendall County State’s Attorney’s officials, who reviewed the ICC document, suggested language be added to make sure what insurance covers the situation when detours are in place. A spokesman for the office told County Board members this week that after reviewing the document, “the ICC refused to offer any more indemnification.”

Highway Committee Chairman Dan Koukol said he was assured by Kendall Highway Department staff that the state and the ICC “do this all the time.” He urged board members to pass Kendall’s participation in the agreement, as did County Engineer Fran Klaas, so the work could get done.

The board voted to approve participation, but with a close 5-4 vote. Voting against joining the agreement were Anne Cullick, Matt Prochaska, Judy Gilmour and John Shaw.

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