The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

August 11, 2013

9 months to go on Fairchild Overpass

City remains busy with other projects

DANVILLE — DANVILLE — When Medix Ambulance president and chief executive officer Steve Sparrow was reminded that it’s just nine months until the expected opening of the new Fairchild Overpass, he could hardly contain his enthusiasm.

“We will be thrilled,” Sparrow said.

He said the time still “feels like forever” like it did when the city closed the Fairchild Subway in 2011.

He said the opening can’t come soon enough.

Sparrow also said it’s funny with this roadway being closed for as long as it has been.

Normally road closures are maybe for a few days and ambulance drivers make brief, temporary adjustments to their driving routes.

“This has just been huge ...,” Sparrow said of the long-term detour.

He said some of the rookies, the new ambulance drivers, will have to be re-trained once the new overpass opens.

Sparrow said they’re not used to driving on that part of Fairchild Street.

“We’re anxiously waiting (for it to reopen),” Sparrow said. “We just can’t wait.”

He added the ambulance service hasn’t had any major problems since the subway closure and the fire department also is on the other side to help with any life-threatening emergencies.

“It’s been going smooth,” Sparrow said.

Sparrow added that growing up in that area, he’s a little nostalgic for the subway, but the new overpass is going to be nice.

The ramps and walls for the overpass have taken shape for the project that remains on schedule for a May 2014 completion.

The deteriorated Fairchild Subway was filled in and is being replaced with an overpass between Rogers Street and Bowman Avenue.

The new 1,200-foot long structure includes two bridges, over railroad tracks and roadway, and retaining walls.

O’Neil Brothers had been removing temporary sheet pile and forming the pier cap. Structural steel also will be set to go over the railroad tracks this month.

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