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Longmeadow to cross Fox, ease congestion

A dream of a new east-west corridor in northern Kane County is at least 18 months to two years away from being ready for bids on the work.

This year, Kane County plans to spend $3.4 million for engineering and design of the proposed Longmeadow Parkway.

Carl Schoedel, director of Kane County Division of Transportation, said he expects the design work to take 18 to 24 months. It’s then that the county would be able to seek bids for the project.

But bids won’t go out until 100 percent of funding for the project is identified, Schoedel said.

The county wants to pay for part of the parkway with a toll bridge over the Fox River.

Through tolls, both residents and nonresidents of the county would help pay for the road. Kane County also wants to look into federal funding for the project.

“It’s a huge undertaking for a local government,” Schoedel said. “A project of this size is more typical for a state government undertaking.”

About $9 million in federal money has been used for land acquisition for the project, according to an update fact sheet put out by the county. The county has about 60 percent of the land required for the $117 million parkway, Schoedel said.

Planners hope to build the road initially as two lanes, with hopes of widening it to four lanes as use of the parkway grows. The bridge would built so it could easily be widened to four lanes.

“The important thing is to make the connection ... from west of Randall Road to Route 62,” Schoedel said.

The project – about 5.6 miles of new road in the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills-Carpentersville area from Route 62 to Huntley Road – is needed to relieve traffic congestion in northern Kane and southern McHenry counties, where during rush hour it can take 50 minutes to travel a few miles on Routes 62, 72 and 31, according to the Kane transportation officials.

The division of transportation estimates that more than 200,000 vehicles a day cross bridges over the Fox River from Elgin to Algonquin, according to its fact sheet.

The parkway also would improve accessibility to businesses in Algonquin, Carpentersville, East Dundee and West Dundee and increase desirability to shop in the downtown districts, officials said.

Kane County estimates there would be $100 million growth in equalized assessed property values along the Longmeadow Parkway corridor and that the corridor could create 12,800 permanent jobs.

Village boards of 10 area municipalities, including Algonquin, Carpentersville, East Dundee, West Dundee, Huntley, Hampshire, Lake in the Hills and Gilberts, have adopted resolutions supporting the bridge project.

Relieving traffic congestion in the area has been a priority in recent years. The widening of Rakow Road was completed last year and work began on the Algonquin Western Bypass, along with the widening of Route 31 from the Virginia and Klasen roads intersection to Rakow Road.

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