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Grant awarded for Randall Road bridge

ALGONQUIN – A federal grant will help the village build a long sought after pedestrian bridge over Randall Road.

The village has been awarded a $3.16 million grant from the federal government’s Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program to help build a pedestrian bridge over Randall Road in the vicinity of Huntington Drive and Bunker Hill Drive, possibly in three years.

The bridge will be near Jacobs High School and improve safety at the intersection.

The grant requires a 20 percent local match, but the village and the county have agreed to split the local share.

The county and the village will each contribute $395,000 over the course of the design, land acquisition, and construction of the bridge from this year through 2015.

“It’s a nice cooperative arrangement with the county,” Algonquin Village Manager Bill Ganek said.

Ganek said as engineering for the project goes forward, it will take into account the anticipated widening of Randall Road.

The bridge is planned for the south side of the intersection and might be midway between Huntington and Harnish drives as land acquisition and design is finalized, Ganek said.

The village was able to receive the federal grant after public input sessions and studies over several years, Ganek said.

“Randall, as it gets wider, is harder and harder to cross from a pedestrian and bicycle perspective,” Ganek said. “We do want residents ... to be able to cross over as safely as possible.”

Engineering for the project will take place this year and in 2013. Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2015.

Having a pedestrian bridge over Randall Road has been a goal of Village Board members for several years.

Village President John Schmitt has said adding a pedestrian crossing on Randall Road is critical because Jacobs High School, the main branch of the library, and a lot of shopping are to the west of the road. However, much of the population lives east of Randall Road.

Ganek added that it’s a priority area, as there also are existing bike trails.

The CMAQ program was created to support surface transportation projects and related efforts that contribute to air-quality improvements and provide congestion relief, according to the Federal Highway Administration website.

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