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Anderson Road land purchased, extension work to begin this fall

ELBURN – Kane County officials believe work to build a new bridge over the railroad tracks near the Elburn Metra station could begin this fall.

And drivers accustomed to repeated delays at the village’s downtown Route 47 rail crossing could find relief as soon as fall 2014.

For years, Kane County transportation planners and officials with the village of Elburn have sought to extend Anderson Road from Route 38 south to Keslinger Road.

The project has ranked among the county’s top transportation priorities, as it would include an overpass of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, relieving traffic problems in downtown Elburn, where traffic is regularly snarled at the Route 47 crossing.

As recently as a year ago, the project appeared poised to move ahead, as Kane County and a landholding company associated with Geneva-based development company ShoDeen had inked deals that would transfer the land needed for the project to the county.

The county was financing the project using $18 million obtained from the federal and state governments.

However, those purchase agreements depended on the ability of ShoDeen and Elburn village officials to reach an agreement on a document that would govern ShoDeen’s proposal to build its Elburn Station development, a large project centered on the proposed Anderson Road extension that would add thousands of new homes to the village.

That project, however, garnered several more months of scrutiny from the Elburn Village Board, delaying the start of the Anderson Road project well into 2013.

Earlier this year, the Elburn board approved that agreement with ShoDeen. And in the weeks since, Kane County has completed the purchase of the land needed for the road, said Tom Rickert, deputy director of the Kane County Division of Transportation.

He said the county paid $2.15 million for 61.6 acres of land and 13.8 acres of easements. The purchases were completed April 12.

With the land in hand, Rickert said county officials anticipate selecting a contractor for the project this summer, and beginning construction in October. He said that schedule depends on how quickly federal and state transportation officials sign off on the county’s plans.

The county and village also expect to receive approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission in June for the railroad overpass. The ICC held a hearing on the matter Tuesday.

Construction could then be completed sometime between November 2014 and June 2015, Rickert said.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said he is pleased to see the project moving forward. He said he believes the project was worth the wait.

“It’s great to see all the support for this,” Anderson said. “Good things do indeed come to those who wait.”

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