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Kane poised for next steps in Longmeadow Parkway project

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – Kane County officials appear poised to approve the next phases in a large road project intended to alleviate congestion on bridges over the Fox River on the county’s north end.

The Kane County Board was expected to vote today on $8.66 million in engineering contracts for the Longmeadow Parkway. 

Officially called Phase 2 engineering, the contracts would extend over several years and would result in final road design plans and a set of “bid documents” needed to hire contractors to build the road, said Carl Schoedel, Kane County’s director of transportation.

The proposed Longmeadow Parkway project has been long sought by Kane County and village officials on the county’s north end. The project would add about 5.5 miles of roadway from Route 62 across the Fox River to Huntley Road in the Algonquin, Carpentersville and Lake in the Hills area.

The project has received some federal support. However, the project still faces significant hurdles, including the question of how to pay for it.

County officials have indicated the project could be funded through $1 to $1.50 tolls collected from those crossing the new Fox River bridge, in addition to state and federal transportation dollars.

County officials also have discussed issuing bonds or engaging in public-private partnerships to construct and maintain the bridge.

County Board members representing communities at Kane’s south end also have expressed a desire to redirect some road fees that could otherwise be spent on other road projects in northern Kane County to the Longmeadow project to relieve southern Kane County residents of the burden for the project.

Southern Kane County representatives worry the project would unduly burden their residents, while benefiting McHenry County residents, who are expected to use the bridge once it opens to avoid congestion on the Route 62 bridge in downtown Algonquin.

Schoedel said completing the Phase 2 engineering work will give the county a much better idea of the Longmeadow Parkway’s estimated cost, giving the County Board better information with which to formulate a financing plan.

“This is a significant step forward in making this a ‘shovel-ready’ project,” Schoedel said.

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