After decades of planning, environmental studies, engineering and land acquisition, Kane County and local municipalities broke ground Monday (Feb. 29, 2016) on the first construction stage of Longmeadow Parkway in northern Kane County.
On Feb. 9, the County Board awarded the initial roadway construction contract of about $6.3 million, which was about 26 percent below the engineer’s estimate. The construction preparation work started on Feb. 16.
The Longmeadow Parkway project runs 5.6 miles from the Huntley/Boyer Road intersection to IL Route 62, and has for many years received support from surrounding communities, which led the effort for the roadway through board resolutions, setting aside land, inclusion in their adopted comprehensive plans, and even constructing parts of the corridor. The purpose of the roadway is to address existing and future traffic needs and to improve accessibility and mobility in support of population and economic growth, as northern Kane County continues to be a leader in new housing starts in the Chicago region.
Kane County Division of Transportation officials are providing important project information at public meetings and through the Longmeadow Parkway page on the KDOT website. KDOT has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document, available online, and the KDOT site provides more than two dozen documents on the project history and approvals, planned financing, environmental studies, engineering documents and much more.
The KDOT site is an important resource for citizens because of out-of-date and incorrect information that has been published on the Internet. An example of an ongoing misconception is that Longmeadow Parkway is a “tollway,” with a number of interchanges. Longmeadow Parkway is and will be a local-access road and not a tollway, as it is inaccurately referred to in an upcoming advisory referendum in Dundee Township. All of the 5.6-mile corridor will be free to the public and provide local access, with the exception of a possible toll bridge over the Fox River.
With most of the $115 million funding for Longmeadow Parkway in place now, county officials anticipate a much-smaller bond of $35 million or less with a currently projected toll rate of about 75 cents, according to the most-recent funding scenarios. It is possible that additional funding could still become available for the entire project, which would result in no bridge toll. If a toll bridge is required, the county remains committed to minimizing the toll rate and to cease toll collection once the bridge debt is retired.
A federal court decision in 2004, along with years of environmental/engineering studies, updates and approvals by local, state and federal environmental and regulatory agencies have determined the Longmeadow Parkway alternative — even when compared to a “no build” scenario — to have the least impact when considering homes, air, noise, water, wetlands and wildlife and is the only acceptable bridge crossing in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for northern Kane County.
Some of the benefits of the Longmeadow Parkway have already arrived, including funding that helped create the Brunner Family Forest Preserve. Learn more by browsing the Frequently Asked Questions document now available online.
SOURCE: KDOT news release