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Archive for the ‘Longmeadow Parkway’ Category

LMP

Cleanup would allow Longmeadow Parkway to open next year. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

The Longmeadow Parkway project will not open to traffic in 2023, but Kane County officials believe they now have a solution to, literally, get the lead out.

The county board’s transportation committee gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a $14 million contract with Bartlett-based Bluff City Materials Inc.  to remove a mound of lead-contaminated soil just beyond the eastern edge of the Brunner Family Forest Preserve.

The $135 million Longmeadow project saw decades of planning to create a new crossing of the Fox River, ease traffic congestion and spur development on the northern end of the county. The project moved forward, despite late opposition from residents along the construction path, which bisected the Brunner Family Forest Preserve.

The project is funded through a mix of bonds and government funding, including some state money that might reduce, if not eliminate, the toll bridge aspect designed to pay off the bonds and support future maintenance.

The project is complete except for a small stretch just east of the Fox River. A pile of soil contaminated with lead sits there. Figuring out what to do about the lead has delayed the project’s completion for the past two years.

Read more here.

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LMP

The long-awaited completion of the Longmeadow Parkway should arrive this year. Now county leaders are working to pay off the debt that helped fund it. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2022)

Kane County will see many economic initiatives come to fruition or continue to advance in 2023, Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog said.

They include regional economic planning grants to pay for the Longmeadow Parkway so it does not need to be a tollway, the development of workforce housing, support for small businesses and more electric vehicle charging stations.

As the Longmeadow Parkway on the county’s north side nears completion, the next step is to pay off the debt that helped fund it, Pierog said.

“Because of its regional nature, we were able to lobby the governor and … the allocation of $17.5 million should be coming through shortly to pay down the bond,” Pierog said. “We are advocating for another $17.5 million. We are actively working with our legislative partners and other counties to work on bringing down the rest of that bond so we won’t have to have a toll bridge.”

Read more here.

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BHPD New Masthead

The Barrington Hills Park District Advisory Committee meets this evening at 7PM. The primary topic of discussion is, “Explore possibility of a better time for Riding Club on weekends (as opposed to?).”

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.  Instructions for attending the meeting via Zoom can be found here.

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VBHPD Car

A three-vehicle crash along Algonquin Road near Longmeadow Parkway reduced traffic flow to one lane Monday morning, but caused no injuries, officials said.

The crash took place sometime before 9:15 a.m. Monday in the Kane County portion of Barrington Hills, with one vehicle in the road of the northwest-bound lane. Officials with the Barrington Hills Police Department were directing traffic, allowing one lane of vehicles to pass at a time.

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hereBHPD New Masthead

The Advisory Committee to the Barrington Hills Park District Board meets this evening at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • New At Large Alternate/Representatives/Election of new AC Chair
  • Open Meetings Act Training
  • Installation of fencing and gates between Riding Center and Bateman Road

A copy on the agenda can be viewed here.  Residents are invited to participate via Zoom, and the instructions can be found here.

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LMP Toll

Construction resumes this coming week on the Longmeadow Parkway toll bridge over the Fox River.

A building needed to collect tolls is scheduled to be delivered Thursday, April 28, which will be followed by the installation of toll equipment, gantry and signs on April 29 and 30, according to Mike Zakosek, Kane County Division of Transportation chief of design.

“What remains (to be done after that) is the mitigation of soil and completion of the final section of roadway,” Zakosek told the Kane County Board’s Transportation Committee meeting this week.

The final portion of the road runs from Sandbloom/William Road east to Route 25. Other than that section and the bridge, about three-fourths of the 5.6-mile Longmeadow Parkway, which starts at Huntley Road in Dundee Township, west of Randall Road, crosses through Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills and ends at Route 62, is complete.

Local legislators have been trying to secure money from the state to pay for the bridge, and were able to earmark $17.5 million in the 2022-23 Illinois budget. The county will need to obtain another $17.5 million to repay the total debt and eliminate the need for a toll.

“There will be some time to really understand how to facilitate these funds,” county Deputy Director of Transportation Tom Rickert told the committee this week. “We’re working toward that $35 million so that we can fully get rid of the toll.”

More here.

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LMP

State lawmakers are giving Kane County $17.5 million to help fund the ongoing construction of the Longmeadow Parkway, but that’s not enough to eliminate planned tolls. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

Long-sought state funding for Kane County’s Longmeadow Parkway will help push the 5.6-mile corridor to completion. But it won’t eliminate the toll — yet.

State lawmakers included $17.5 million for the project in a marathon state budget session last weekend. After the bipartisan Longmeadow funding passed, some state lawmakers, such as state Rep. Suzanne Ness, issued statements saying the money “eliminated” the need for a toll on the parkway.

But the money in the state’s 2023 budget is only about half of what county officials sought to eliminate the toll.

The toll became a necessary to help fund the Longmeadow Parkway bridge over the Fox River when, unlike the Stearns Road bridge, not enough federal and state money came through to pay for the project at the northern border of Kane County. County officials sold bonds to pay for the construction and ongoing maintenance.

County board members decided a toll would be the best way to repay the money borrowed through the bonds because, they argued, non-county residents in McHenry and Cook counties using the parkway would pay a fair amount of those tolls. That, and discounted toll rates for Kane County residents, would relieve some of the financial burdens of the toll and repaying the bonds.

But the toll is also the least popular portion of the plan. County board members on the northern end of the county, in particular Chris Kious, have lamented the need to pay a toll to travel from one side of the Fox River to the other — unlike other bridge projects in the area like Stearns Road or the Red Gate in St. Charles.

Read more here.

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Longmeadowparkway

Due to a bipartisan push by legislators in Kane County, money has been included in the Illinois Fiscal Year 2023 budget that takes a step closer to ensuring the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge will be toll-free.

According to a news release from state Sen. Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles), Kane County’s Department of Transportation expects the project to be completed in 2023.

According to an April 1 news release from the Office of Kane County Board Chairwoman Corinne Pierog, legislators from both sides of the aisle were responsible for the push that allowed the funding package to be put into the state’s FY23 budge.

The bridge is a part of a 5.6-mile-long corridor at the north end of Kane County and is projected to be open to traffic in 2023. It is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and improve traffic safety and efficiency.

In response to the inclusion of funds in the FY23 budget, DeWitte issued a statement saying the multimillion-dollar financial commitment from the state “should alleviate any future delays with the completion of this project.”

Read more here.

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Longmeadow-Parkway-Corridor-KDOT

Kane County Board Chairwoman Corinne Pierog issued a statement Friday (April 1, 2022) praising a bipartisan effort to help Kane County taxpayers with the future financial responsibility of the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge Corridor.

Pierog issued the statement during a visit to the State Capitol in Springfield.

The 5.6-mile-long corridor at the north end of Kane County is projected to be completed and opened in 2024 and is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs and to improve traffic safety. In order to finance the bonds to pay for the new corridor, the Kane County Boards had approved the use of a toll.

“Our legislative leaders and local lawmakers are eagerly working to find innovative solutions in the state budget that will ease the impact of a scheduled toll motorists using the bridge will have to pay starting in 2024,” Pierog said.

In her statement, Pierog thanked Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch, state Senate President Don Harmon, state Reps. Anna Moeller and Suzanne Ness; and state Sens. Cristina Castro and Linda Holmes for trying to find a funding solution before the end of the Spring Session on April 8.

“Since the current County Board inherited the significant debt of the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge Corridor, our representatives in Springfield have unified behind an effort to find financial help that will protect Kane County taxpayers,” Pierog said.

With the support of local legislators, Pierog said funding will be made available in the state capital bill for fiscal year 2023 that will “help Kane County retire the bonds and reduce or eliminate the planned toll.”

Read more here.

Click here for a 2021 update of the Longmeadow Parkway financial plan posted by the Kane County Division of Transportation.

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LP

Cars travel east on Bolz Road near the Longmeadow Parkway’s new bridge that’s not done yet east of the Fox River. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

Standing at the dead end of a private road just west of the new Longmeadow Parkway bridge over Route 31 is the convergence of all the love and hate for the decadeslong effort to create a new Fox River crossing in northern Kane County.

The private road ends with a panoramic view of some of the key improvements the 5.6-mile Longmeadow project brings. There will be less rush-hour traffic congestion, new business development, and access to the Cook, Kane and McHenry counties’ borders, all within minutes once construction ends.

But while overlooking that progress from the private road with a group of people wearing neon green Kane County Division of Transportation construction vests, there is the distinct feeling of being watched by some of the neighbors who long opposed the project.

“You have to kind of keep an eye out,” said county board member Drew Frasz. “Some of these people are not our biggest fans.”

That’s nothing new for Frasz. As chairman of the county board’s transportation committee, he’s spent the entire construction process defending the project and answering criticism, including from some of his fellow board members. To him, when the project is finished, it will be the culmination of the plans and desires of all the communities affected by it.

Driving the parkway, Frasz points to land set aside by community leaders in Algonquin and Carpentersville who envisioned a Longmeadow that fuels a new heyday for their communities.

Read more here.

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