As construction of Longmeadow Parkway is under way, many people may be wondering what the final corridor will look like.
“The Kane County Division of Transportation has collaborated with state and federal natural resource agencies and municipalities to make every attempt to ensure that all environmental and aesthetic features have been considered,” Kane County Engineer and KDOT Director Carl Schoedel said. “KDOT is enthusiastic that residents, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike will appreciate the design and aesthetic nature of the corridor.”
Within Longmeadow Parkway, designers aimed to incorporate features that enhance and interlace with the natural environment. From Randall Road, travelling east through Algonquin, KDOT officials said the goal was to keep the corridor as natural as possible, while also blending with the existing urban/suburban landscaping designed to accommodate Longmeadow Parkway.
Because many existing trees are being maintained and protected, meshing the existing with the new was important to ensure high quality flora and fauna throughout, Schoedel said. Any trees that are being removed are being replaced with two high-quality, native trees.
The right-of-way for the section of Longmeadow Parkway through Algonquin was set aside by the village prior to the area’s residential development in anticipation of the corridor improvement. Additional features include a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path that continues along the length of the corridor, as well as a generous landscaped median.
- The feature photo of this article shows an artist’s rendering of the Longmeadow Parkway corridor through the village of Algonquin.
Continuing east on Longmeadow Parkway along the Brunner Family Forest Preserve, designers collaborated with the Forest Preserve on a plan so that the vegetation along the corridor can flow and integrate into the Brunner landscape. The root systems of the native grasses and plants will effectively manage surface water runoff and filter out pollution.
Fox River Bridge Features
On the Fox River Bridge, minimal ornamental lighting and railings are part of the beautification plan. Special railings will allow motorists a view of the river, and non-motorists can stop and look over the river in planned pedestrian outcropping on the bridge.
The corridor east of the Fox River is planned to have a more urban/suburban landscaping design. Longmeadow Parkway is planned take into account the vegetation that once existed in this ecotone, along with existing and future residential uses.
The roundabout, located south of Longmeadow Parkway, is designed to connect motorists from the corridor to Bolz Road, and will feature a low-maintenance mix of native vegetation and colored or stamped concrete.
Groupings of trees and shrubs with a ground plane of grasses will be interspersed with specimen trees on slight mounds where possible. Tree planting will take place throughout the corridor, including through the existing portions of Longmeadow Parkway and Bolz Road.
Tree planting will also take place in three other areas: the first will be directly south of Autumn Trail where trees are planned to screen the existing homes with a landscape buffer; the second will surround the proposed detention pond on the eastern edge of the project; and more than 7,000 trees will be planted in the Brunner Family Forest Preserve.
Viewing corridors to the detention pond will be provided with the intent to make the pond and its slopes into landscape features.
Throughout the corridor, berms will be used as a visual screen where appropriate, and the 10-foot-wide multi-use bike path will travel along the side of the roadway, meandering through the landscape and the areas of native grasses and savanna, where oaks with other native trees will be interspersed with serviceberry and sumac.
The selected plant species will be predominantly native including a mixed variety for long-term resilience, ensuring a successful amenity for many generations to come.
Learn more about the Longmeadow Parkway on the project’s website.
SOURCE: Kane County Division of Transportation