Plenty of work planned in Kendall County on roads
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org September 19, 2013 4:58PM
Updated: October 24, 2013 6:10AM
Kendall County residents should get used to road construction.
All of the state highways that are the county’s main arteries will be under significant construction during the next several years.
The Illinois Department of Transportation’s 2014-2019 Multi-Year Plan, the Bible of state highway construction in Illinois, shows significant construction during 2014 and 2015 on Routes 47, 71, 34 and 126.
That was obvious recently at a public hearing IDOT held in Morris on the plan. While there were no surprises to local officials who attended the hearing, it was clear that the state plans a lot of work on its roads in Kendall County in the coming several years.
Already, drivers are experiencing construction delays on Route 47 through downtown Yorkville, along Route 34 between Eldamain Road and the entrance to Plano and along sporadic points along Route 71.
It will be more so in the next few years. But the plan also shows that when construction will happen on those state highways in the next few years is not decided.
Kendall is part of IDOT’s District 3, and the District 3 Multi-Year plan shows no new construction is funded for 2014. Usually, in the six-year plan, only projects shown in the first year, in this case 2014, are funded for sure. The rest of the projects listed could be done anywhere between 2015 and 2019.
But large-scale construction plans along Routes 47, 71 and 126 are listed for 2015 construction on a separate construction map kept by IDOT. Whether or not those will be funded for construction during 2015 will be decided later this year, in November and December, when the state puts together its 2015-20 Multi-Year Plan.
“It changes every year,” said Tom Margolan, programming engineer with IDOT.
Of course, work will continue on projects already awarded with money and under way, such as the Route 47 widening through Yorkville, and the Route 34 work in Plano.
Also funded in 2014 is $295,000 for Phase 1 engineering for the widening of Route 47 between Cross Street in Sugar Grove and Kennedy Road in Yorkville, known locally at the northern route. There also is $200,000 in 2014 for Phase 2 engineering for the part of that route from the Kendall County line to Kennedy Road.
That northern section has been the subject of discussion recently, as both Kendall County and Yorkville have made efforts to get the state to move up construction funding for that section.
Yorkville last week passed a resolution asking the state to allocate money for Phase 2 engineering for the section from the county line to Cross Street in Sugar Grove, and for construction funds for the entire northern route. This week, Kendall County discussed passing a similar resolution, which they are likely to do in two weeks.
Kendall and Yorkville officials were hoping to get that northern section moved up for construction before what is known as the southern section of Route 47, from Caton Farm Road to Interstate 80 in Morris. But work on the southern section is further along, including land acquisition that already has been done. The state has committed a total of more than $37 million toward engineering, utility adjustment and construction for about half of that southern section, from Sherril Road to I-80 in Grundy County, in 2014.
Margolan said IDOT is well-aware of the need to get Route 47 widened on that northern route, where traffic counts are higher than IDOT’s own standard. Margolan said he welcomed the resolutions from Yorkville and Kendall County about the section between Kennedy Road and Cross Street.
“I’m with them,” he said. “There is engineering justification for it, and it’s under study. It’s a beautiful thing when there is local support for a project. We will be developing the plan in November and December for 2015-20, and we’ll see what available funding there is.”