Kendall keeps fight for Route 47 funds
BY STEVE LORD email@example.com October 7, 2013 1:46PM
Updated: November 10, 2013 6:09AM
YORKVILLE — Kendall County officials have reaffirmed their support for moving up construction funding for widening the section of Route 47 between Cross Street in Sugar Grove and Kennedy Road here.
The County Board recently approved a resolution calling for increasing the priority of that funding in the 2014-19 Illinois Department of Transportation Multi-Year Plan. The so-called six-year plan prioritizes state-funded road projects district by district throughout the state.
In passing their resolution, Kendall County joined the city of Yorkville, which already passed a similar resolution supporting the same stretch of road.
That stretch of road is called the “northern section,” setting it apart from the “southern section,” which runs from Interstate 80 in Morris in Grundy County to Caton Farm Road in Kendall County.
Right now, that southern section is a higher priority than the northern section. But both Kendall County and Yorkville have pointed out that traffic counts on the northern section are much higher — dangerously higher, if IDOT’s own measure is considered.
IDOT’s policies say that a two-lane highway can carry as a safe capacity between 8,500 to 12,500 vehicles a day. Traffic counts on the northern section between Sugar Grove and Yorkville are about 20,000 cars a day. There also were about 300 crashes reported on the section of the road between 2007 and 2011.
“I believe the studies we’ve seen show more than 20,000 cars,” said Kendall County Board member Scott Gryder. “This will be helpful to our county.”
Traditionally, only projects in the first year of the six-year plan are funded, and IDOT has included in the 2014-15 year money for phase one engineering for the northern section, and phase two engineering for part of the section. But there is no construction money.
There is construction money for the southern section, despite its much lower traffic counts. But that’s because planning for that section is further along, IDOT officials said at a recent public hearing on the 2014-19 plan. They are already buying land for that section.
Also, it appears discussion on the 2014-19 plan is pretty much done, although IDOT is continuing to hold hearings through this month. Officials said discussion will start in November and December on the 2015-20 multi-year plan, and the northern section of Route 47 will be taken into account.
In other Kendall highway news, the County Board recently approved a $300,000 agreement with Hampton, Lenzini & Renwick to do engineering on the Eldamain Road bridge over the Fox River.
The proposed 1,500-foot bridge over the river between Route 34 and Highpoint Road would eventually be the biggest project ever for the Kendall County Highway Department. It is expected to be a $50 million project.
The highway department still is awaiting approval of phase one engineering from IDOT, but in the meantime, it wants the engineering firm to get started on preliminaries for phase two engineering.