ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Surrounded by local dignitaries, Ken Terrinoni officially opens the bridge with a snip of the scissors.

By Anne Eickstadt


On Friday, Oct. 30, Boone County dedicated the Poplar Grove Bridge to Kenneth “Ken” Terrinoni, Boone County administrator from 1988 through 2020. Terrinoni was appointed to the position of Boone County administrator in June 1988, a post that he held for 32 years before retiring in April 2020. He is an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Credentialed Manager, and earned that designation in 2002.

“Our county has been faced with many obstacles over his ten years as county administrator,” said Karl Johnson, chairman of the county board. “Ken’s leadership has served to provide a passage over obstacles. It’s not just the definition of a bridge that is important here but also how we feel and what we think when we see a bridge. A bridge is something that we know is going to take us places. It is strong. It is sturdy. It is going to last. These descriptions are also indicative of Ken.

“As county administrator, he was a tough yet respected negotiator. When it comes to his peers in the administration world, he is one of the best. I think Ken would be one of the first to say that without a strong foundation no bridge, or in this case no person, can rise to the top.

“Ken, in sincere gratitude for all you have done in your 32 years as administrator, thank you for all you have done and congratulations on a job well done.”

Reps. Sosnowski and Keicher kept their comments short, thanking Terrinoni for “all the lives you have touched here” and a job well done. Sen. Syverson said, “Thank you for being a game changer and for all your years of service.”

Poplar Grove President Owen Costanza said, “It’s great to see you here.”

“I have always respected you,” Mayor Mike Chamberlain said. “I have modeled a lot of what I do on what you have done.”

Terrinoni then stood at the podium to thank everyone for their support over the years and for the honor they were giving him.

Everyone was invited to cross the bridge to enjoy the ribbon cutting ceremony. The Belvidere Fire Department. flew the American flag from their ladder truck. The flag flew immediately above the ceremonial ribbon and the dignitaries flanked Terrinoni as he wielded the scissors to cut the ribbon.

The crowd applauded and trekked back across the bridge through the blustery wind or stayed to speak to one of the dignitaries present.

About Ken Terrinoni:

Prior to his appointment in Boone County, Terrinoni served as a budget analyst for the State of Illinois Bureau of the Budget, as the assistant to the village manager in Bolingbrook and as the village administrator in Lake in the Hills.

Ken’s accomplishments in Boone County include:

  • Negotiated an operating lease for the county’s nursing home‒saving taxpayers millions in pension obligations and operating costs.
  • Successfully closed a joint city-county owned landfill and avoided an EPA Superfund designation.
  • Managed several large county facility projects, including the construction of the county’s administration campus and animal services building.
  • Guided the county through the Great Recession with care.
  • Founded and led the Prairie Shield Regional Alliance‒a consortium of eight counties and various local governments with the mission of improving inter-operability between first responders in the region.
  • Served on countless governing boards throughout his tenure in Boone county, from iFiber to ILCMA, and presented at the Center for Priority Based Budgeting Conference in 2013.

Those speaking at the ceremony included Chairman Karl Johnson, Boone County Board; Sen. Syverson, Illinois Senate District 35; Rep. Sosnowski, Illinois House of Representatives, District 69; Representative Keicher, Illinois House of Reps. District 70; Mayor Mike Chamberlain, City of Belvidere; and President Owen Costanza, Village of Poplar Grove.

Viewing is available on the Boone County Facebook page.

About the Ken Terrinoni Bridge

On June 15, 2018, The Boone County Highway Dept. was awarded $3,047,000 from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Illinois Major Bridge Program (IMBP)/Special Bridge Funds to replace the Coleman Bridge located on Poplar Grove Road. This represented 80 percent of construction costs with 20 percent being matched by Boone County.

Boone County contracted Civil Constructors, Inc./Helm Group to construct the bridge. The project was completed on time and under budget.

Consultants on this project include Hanson for Phase I and Phase II Planning, Design Engineer Consultant with CES as survey sub-consultant, and Chastain for Phase III Construction Engineering Consultant with Geocon as material testing sub-consultant.

Partners in this project include General Mills who contributed to the sidewalks, steps for the crosswalk, landscaping, and roadway lighting; and the City of Belvidere who contributed electrical work, landscaping, and the construction of sidewalks.

Special thanks to Dean Foods, Boone County businesses, and the community for enduring inconveniences and supporting the project.

On March 16, 2020, construction began removing the existing structure and replaced it with a new structure. The new structure replaces the 260’ x 40’ bridge, which had significant deterioration to deck and bearings. The replacement structure includes deck, with modification to enhance structural soundness and stability, and raising the bridge two feet – bringing it to current code. The improvements in amenities include a pedestrian walk and lighting.

About Boone County

Named after Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone, Boone County was organized on March 3, 1936. The county is located in north central Illinois, with the Wisconsin border directly to the north. Boone County covers 290 square miles, making it the smallest of the “northern tier” counties in Illinois. Within its borders, the county provides a hometown, local feel to its residents, businesses and visitors, while offering easy access to larger metropolitan areas. For more information, visit

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