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Photos: New Renwick Road Bridge Opens with Fanfare

The project was decades in the making. On Friday, Plainfield Township's new two-lane bridge opened.

Residents and local officials gathered Friday morning to mark the end of the project that was years in the making as the new Renwick Road bridge opened to cars for the very first time.

Plainfield Township Highway Commissioner Sam Reichert said the date — Oct. 19 — was significant: it marked exactly one year since construction began on the two-lane bridge.

The new bridge will replace the century-old one-lane bridge, which closed to vehicle traffic immediately following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new bridge.

Residents got to see the completed bridge for the very first time, and took some time to bike or stroll along the structure before it opened to vehicle traffic. 

The $7.4 million bridge is more than 623 feet long and 30 feet wide, with a pedestrian/bicycle lane. It replaces the 153-foot-long, 12-foot-wide single-lane bridge built in 1912. 

In addition to the bridge and improvements on Renwick and River roads, the project includes new roadway lighting and the planting of 170 new trees.

tommygun October 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Does the highway commissioner own a pair of pants?????not very professional Sam.
Mark October 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Hope we can avoid a crash. River road traffic stops and Renwick does not. This weekend many cars went through that intersection at 40 mph without touching the brake, at least we saw no brake lights.
Entitlement Fay October 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Paul, nobody cares and you are wrong about the caucus. Maybe you might consider getting a job and get off goverrnent aid like the rest of us.
Ram Seichert October 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
River and Renwick are very dangerous because Sam Reichert did a terrible job notifying the area motorists of the change in stop signs. Click on the link to the highway township website and you see absolutely nothing other than the bridge is open. http://plainfield-township.com/highway There was supposed to be 11 properties purchased to build this bridge. However, there were only five, one of them being Sam's secretary, who was paid $495,000 when her house was assessed at next to nothing. Now the remaining 6 properties are in the process of being purchased through a program funded through Hurricane Ike. Part of the problem here is that Sam Reichert overpaid on these five properties and must be used as comparables. Later realizing the funds from Hurricane Ike wouldn't be able to purchase the remaining properties. Above you'll also see our Plainfield Township HIghway vehicle we pay for. Sam takes our vehicle to Jewel on 135th St on Sunday afternoons to buy his own meat and seafood. Take your own car SAM. Stop using our vehicle and gas the taxpayers paid for.
BitterBluePoison October 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Geez! All negative comments. What have any of you people done for Plainfield? Thank you Plainfield Officials for the new bridge. I am sure there is a stop sign somewhere that no one informed everyone of! Again GEEZ!
Ram Seichert October 22, 2012 at 03:43 PM
The bridge is completely underdesigned for the future use of Renwick Road. This should've been a four laned bridge for future expansion and should've gone over the railroad tracks as well. There was far more information from the Village of Plainfield on this project than from Sam Reichert's Office. It was Reichert's project and he said nothing. Now the Township Board would like to consider giving Sam a raise. He has already pulled his new lawn mower scam and takes his township vehicle to buy his personal groceries. He's got enough. There's not much positive to say other than the poorly run construction site headache is pretty much over. No notification, terrible maintenance of temporary pavement, used the wrong forms for the sidewalks, and doing oversized load permit moves in the middle of darkness. And Sam's secretary got $495,000 for a house in a flood zone that was assessed at next to nothing. Somebody needs to run against this guy in April 2013.
Ram Seichert October 22, 2012 at 03:50 PM
After years of bargaining, Illinois Department of Transportation negotiators struck a deal earlier this month to pay $495,000 for a house owned by Plainfield Township Highway secretary Mary Domanus, according to Will County records. The 1,500 square-foot home and surrounding grounds was assessed at $58,000 in 2010, county records show. Domanus may have been the last holdout, and her employment with the highway commission certainly raised eyebrows as the renovation stalled year after year. But Domanus and her husband James were not the only local landowners who cashed in on sale prices much higher than their properties’ assessed valuations. •$365,000 to John Fullington for 15904 S. River Road; assessed at $0; •$180,000 to Bruce and Virginia Nelson for 15908 S. River Road; assessed at $2,597; •$575,000 to Mike Bjekich for 24926 S. Renwick Road; assessed at $100,309; •$355,000 to Donald L. Johnson, trustee of the Donald L. Johnson Trust, for 15836 S. River Road; assessed at $54,152. And people wonder why our government is broke? http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/with-final-property-finally-purchased-renwick-bridge-work-could-start-this-year
David Corsi October 22, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I ran the bridge this weekend and it is beautiful and a great enhancement for the city. All politics aside that fill the other comments, the reality is sadly true... the new intersection at River and Renwick will be host to a traffic accident with a critical injury or fatality in the next year if they don't add a stop light or stop sign to the flow of traffic on Renwick Rd. The new intersection is instantly the most dangerous intersection in all of Plainfield by a factor of 100. I don't assign blame, I just want an immediate fix before someone's family suffers a tragedy and the finger pointing begins.
Ram Seichert October 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
This intersection is not located in the Village of Plainfield. It falls under the Plainfield Township Highway Commissioner's Office who provided next to no advanced notice of the change in stop signs for the intersection. Public information in this case and more warning certainly would help until people get used to the new design. Again, this falls under Sam Reichert's authority and not the Village of Plainfield.
Ed Arter October 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
A PPD squad car parked in the Legion's Lot might help.
Paul Fay October 22, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Sam, I commend you and the engineers, contractor for a first-rate construction of the Renwick Road bridge. It is an outstanding structure that will serve our community for many years.
Olddeegee October 22, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Great job, Sam. Your attention to many of the resident's needs did not go unnoticed. How long before the official designation is the "Sam Reichart Bridge"? I'm serious, you did a great job fixing something that's needed to be fixed for decades.
Ed Arter October 22, 2012 at 04:50 PM
You make a good point--but when is running a stop sign a safe option? Yes, Advance warning signage should be improved. The variable message boards need to stay up for months. Stopping Main Line (Renwick) traffic in order to let a lazy secondary (tertiary) scenic trail's traffic to cross is not the way to effectively design a road . Roads do have priorities and "let the Main Line lead" is an effective design criteria. Don't get me wrong ,this intersection presents an issue to those who use River Road daily and have old habits that need to change. As the public becomes used to this crossing it will look just like any other Main Road's intersection with a lower priority street. And David, I support your concern (Sans Signalization) and look forward to intersection saftey improvements.
Ram Seichert October 22, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Great job? Ask Sam about the new lawn mower the Township purchased and where it's located and what happened to the old lawn mower. This bridge was needed for the area but is way underdesigned. His communication skills are about as appealing as the shorts he wears.
Scott Weimer October 22, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Why don't people open their eyes and pay attention to road signs like we were taught in driver ed
tommygun October 23, 2012 at 12:33 AM
This intersection is in Will county jurisdiction not plainfield PD and I doubt you will ever she a county unit near there.
Ram Seichert November 01, 2012 at 04:32 AM
*****River Road north of Renwick Road***** On River Road north of the Renwick Road and just north of the curve, the pavement has been milled for about 30 feet in both directions. There are large bumps and loose gravel in this area that could even damage your vehicle. Use caution in this area coming out of the curve and going into the curve. The Plainfield Township Highway Office has yet again failed to post "BUMP" or "ROUGH GROOVED SURFACE" signs to warn motorists of this hazard and a very dangerous curve. Be careful in this area.
Ram Seichert November 23, 2012 at 06:57 AM
*****River Road Update***** River Road south of Renwick Road has been reopened to vehicular traffic. All of the barricades and detour signs have been removed from the area however, and again, there was no notification to Plainfield Township residents by the Township Highway Commissioner. The communication out of the Highway Department Office is terrible and quite frankly nonexistent. I wonder how much money Sam spent on all the Christmas decorations (snowflakes and wreaths) now mounted on the new decorative light poles. A crew in a yellow Penske truck was installing these large decorations the other day blocking a whole lane of traffic with no traffic control or safety practices in place. The guy was wearing blue jeans and a blue tshirt with no reflective vest. The landscaping crew was recently driving down the eastbound lane of Renwick Road in a Bobcat skid steer carrying conduit in the bucket which was nearly sticking into the westbound lanes and also had two employees in a bucket. The entire thought of risk management and safety was thrown out the window throughout this entire project. People are paying attention. Someone needs to step up and run against Sam Reichert in the April election.
Ram Seichert December 03, 2012 at 01:30 AM
The landscape contractor was back out along Renwick Road west of the bridge on Friday. The landscape contractor had the entire eastbound lane of Renwick Road shutdown blocked with a semi full of sod. The problem here was again no traffic direction forcing motorists to enter oncoming traffic. No notice from the Highway Commissioner yet again. How many more road closures will there be Sam? Road construction is over, take the signs down along River Road. The communication out of this office is downright pathetic. Hopefully, a new candidate emerges Tuesday night to take over this office in April.
oldschool January 20, 2013 at 04:47 AM
3 months later...best Patch comment ever!

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