Aurora's Sheffer Road Bridge project concludes ahead of schedule
The Sheffer Road Bridge opened two weeks ahead of schedule, allowing the residents of Aurora to travel more freely.
Aurora crossed a milestone with the completion of the project, marking Sheffer Road as the 10th bridge to be reconstructed over the past decade.
“One of my earliest priorities as mayor was to increase the safety and long-term capacity of our road and bridge infrastructure, and this weekend, we completed our tenth bridge in 10 years,” Mayor Tom Weisner said. “On average, only 20 percent of the cost of these improvements was paid for using local funds — the remainder was funded through federal programs, which are here today, but could be gone tomorrow.”
The city is working to bring aging infrastructure up to date as part of a continuing initiative to make city roads safer.
Plans to reconstruct the Sheffer Road Bridge began in 2012, nearly a century after the 26-foot wide bridge was originally built. Work for the rebuild started in April with the removal of the original bridge. The newly opened bridge is now built with a 40-foot deck beam that has more shoulder room, in addition to a new sewer and water main.
The reopening of Sheffer Road was celebrated by First Ward Alderman Tina Bohman, construction crews, city officials and area residents with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“The Sheffer Road Bridge is open,” Bohman said. “Come on by and see the good work that the city of Aurora is doing.”
Bohman was the first to drive across the newly constructed bridge just before the barricades were removed to open the road to the public.
The Sheffer Road Bridge Project was funded 80 percent by Federal Highway Funds and the remaining 20 percent came from local Motor Fuel taxes. The bridge spans Indian Creek just east of Farnsworth Avenue and was constructed in 1933.
“Bridges may not seem like the most exciting part of governing a community, but when it comes to building a city that works for both residents and business, our infrastructure is what paves the way for growth and prosperity,” Weisner said.