The Illinois Department of Natural Resources told state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, on Friday that about $250,000 will be released to clean up a collapsed aqueduct on the Illinois and Michigan Canal trail.
The aqueduct, between Gebhard Woods and downtown Morris, collapsed because of a big flood in 2013. The flood caused $150 million in damage throughout Rezin’s district. Rezin said the aqueduct was not built for the amount of water it needed to withstand.
“When it was originally constructed, Morris was a lot smaller,” Rezin said.
The money will go to the first phase to rebuild the bridge there. Rezin said it was dangerous because kids like to jump off it, and the debris still there might impede water from flowing out in the event of another flood.
Rebuilding the bridge was delayed partly because of the two-year budget impasse in Springfield. There is additional federal money “on the sidelines” that is to be used to construct an aqueduct large enough to hold even more water.
On his Facebook page, Rep. David Welter, R-Morris, praised both local and state officials and the many entities involved in getting reconstruction underway.
Reconstruction is scheduled to start in about two weeks.