GENEVA – Kane County has taken key steps toward the construction of two bridges that transportation planners believe will alleviate congestion problems in Elburn and on the county's north end.
Tuesday, the County Board unanimously voted to accept jurisdiction over Anderson Road from Route 38 south to Prairie Valley Street in Elburn.
The procedural move will allow the county to move ahead with plans to extend Anderson Road south over the Union Pacific railroad to Keslinger Road.
Officials with the county and the village of Elburn have long sought the extension and overpass to provide an alternative route for traffic that now uses Route 47. In support of the Anderson Road project, the county and village have obtained $18 million in federal and state road funds.
The Kane County Division of Transportation had hoped to begin work on the project last year, but the project was held up amid months of lingering talks between Elburn village officials and Geneva-based land developer ShoDeen Inc., which owned much of the land on which the new road is scheduled to be built.
KDOT intends to begin construction this fall.
The jurisdictional transfer of the existing stretch of Anderson Road near Route 38 had been planned since 2012, under an agreement between the county and Elburn.
Those agreements also include a provision calling on the county to hand Anderson Road back to the village. But some on the County Board Tuesday questioned whether the county should do that.
County Board member Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, compared Anderson Road's future use to that of Kirk Road or Randall Road.
"Anderson Road is likely to meet the needs of the region," Lewis said.
Kane County Deputy Transportation Director Tom Rickert told County Board members that the village never envisioned Anderson Road to be a regional highway, like Kirk or Randall. Instead, he said the village had determined the road should be "an alternative route" for traffic, rather than "a bypass" of downtown Elburn.
Board members approved the transfer, which included language calling for Anderson Road to "be permanently added to the highway system of Kane County as County Highway 85."
Also on Tuesday, the County Board approved a package of engineering contracts for the Longmeadow Parkway.
Planned to be built on the county's north end between Route 62 and Huntley Road, the project would provide a toll bridge over the Fox River which county officials believe will reduce congestion on other bridges.
The engineering work will allow the county to gain a better idea of how much the project will cost, county officials have said. Prior estimates have pegged that cost at more than $110 million.
The project is expected to be financed through $1-$1.50 per crossing tolls at the new bridge, and federal and state money.