Fire Department Ready for Bridge Closures Over I-90

BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- During emergencies every second counts, but the Boone County Rural Fire District says the I-90 construction project is making it harder to get to some of our homes.

Construction signs are already causing headaches for some people. Starting Monday the bridges on Mill, Irene, Stone Quarry, and Genoa roads over I-90 will close for three months. That means firefighters have to take detours to respond to emergencies.

"It is an inconvenience but it's something we've worked through for the whole construction of I-90," Boone County Rural Fire District Chief Brad Bartell, said.

Fire fighters started mapping out their alternate routes a few months ago. All that planning put Tim Mundy's mind at ease. He lives less than half a mile south of the genoa road bridge.

"You know with Johnson Road still in and the next road over Tripp, that's still in so they can get it," Mundy said.

Despite what some may think, Chief Bartell says the detours shouldn't affect response times since each closed bridge is bordered by open bridges. He says the longest detour, around Genoa Road, won't take firefighters more than a mile out of the way.

On top of that the department will get some added help from the Belvidere Fire Department. Other than it being a big, long-term project, Chief Bartell says the bridge closures aren't much different than any other construction project.

"Any response you want to get there as fast as you can so knowing there's alternate routes and to use the alternate routes is just part of the planning process," he said.

The bridges are coming down to widen I-90. They should reopen around thanksgiving.


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