GENEVA – Kane County’s chief executive believes he and the county can use his connections in Springfield to help the county get $15 million to $20 million to help Kane build a new bridge over the Fox River at the county’s north end.
Wednesday, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said he intends to mount a push in coming days to help the county secure a large chunk of state money to help offset the cost of constructing the Longmeadow Parkway.
“I think the timing is right,” said Lauzen. “We need to go aggressive after the money, to get our fair share.”
Lauzen, a Republican former state senator, said “there are things happening” at the state level that would create “an opening to ask” for the money.
He declined to elaborate on what “things” he believes make the request feasible at this time.
“That’s a part of the hand I don’t want to show right now,” he said.
Lauzen noted, however, that he intends to “use relationships built up over the last 20 years” of his service in the General Assembly to obtain money to help reduce the county’s portion of the estimated $117 million road and bridge project.
The Longmeadow project has been long sought by Kane County and officials in villages on the county’s north end.
It would add about 5.5 miles of road from Route 62 across the river to Huntley Road in the Algonquin, Carpentersville and Lake in the Hills area.
The project has received about $9 million in federal support already.
And county transportation officials believe the project could be largely funded through the collection of $1- to $1.50-per-trip tolls from those crossing the bridge.
Officials believe the tolls are necessary to ensure that McHenry County residents bear a portion of the burden of the project.
Planners believe McHenry County residents will heavily use the bridge to avoid congestion at other river crossings, such as the Route 62 bridge in Algonquin.
But county officials have continued to discuss how to come up with the additional money needed to bring the project to reality.
Some ideas discussed have included redirecting some road fees collected from developers that would otherwise be spent on other road projects in northern Kane County to Longmeadow, to relieve southern Kane County residents of some of the burden of paying for the new road and bridge.