Much of Tuesday morning’s meeting was devoted to hearing the concerns of the members of the Cache River Drainage District Board — Roy Georger, Steve Korte and Greg Horman.
Georger explained the new bridge being built at Bear Creek, will restrict the water flow in the ditch and the members of the Cache River Drainage District see that as a problem, as the district is charged with maintaining the 50 miles of ditches in the drainage district.
Currently the contractor is working on the bridge and after some drainage district members talked to Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac about their concerns, they were unable to convince him of their point of view.
According to Georger, one thing the drainage district would like to see is having the riprap that has already been placed, removed to maintain the original bottom of the creek, or possibly moving the riprap closer to the piling.
The main thing the drainage district would like to see is the opening under the bridge be equal to or greater than either side of the bridge.
When commissioners Jeff Weber and Jayson Farmer asked what Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac had said, the men said his intent is to continue with the current construction. Horman noted that Matesevac might not fully understand the drainage issue and also that his hands may be tied because he is bound to the design that was already approved and contracts have already been awarded.
Commission Chair Weber said in his opinion he sees further construction on the current design to be a major problem and could become a legal issue.
One suggestion made was to see if construction could be halted in order to have an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) engineer to re-evaluate the drainage issue. After discussing the situation with the drainage district members, Weber and Farmer agreed they would consult with State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst and Matesevac in order to see what could be done legally.
Matesevac was absent from the meeting because he was at one of the bridge sites, but in a phone interview with him, he said the bridge project was initiated in 2010 and went on to explain the county highway department hires a consultant engineer to design the county’s bridge projects and to complete the process, which he said involves a drainage study.
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