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Huntley thinks smaller on future road projects

HUNTLEY – Village officials will set their sights on a smaller road project in 2013 after accomplishing major feats this year on Huntley’s infrastructure.

Residents shouldn’t expect a ribbon-cutting or groundbreaking as they experienced this year when the wider Route 47 officially opened and construction crews started building a full Interstate 90-Route 47 interchange.

Instead, officials will focus on developing the local road system, starting with the $5 million extension to Kreutzer Road west of Route 47. The expansion should provide better access to the downtown for residents living in Huntley’s growing west side, said Lisa Armour, senior village assistant manager.

“It has been on the radar for a number of years,” Armour said. “We have the funding. It’s been designed. ... It’s a ready-to-go project.”

The Village Board this week unanimously approved updates to the village’s long-term transportation plan, which includes current information on the Route 47 widening and $69 million interchange project. The plan also details future goals, including numerous road extensions and the additions of a Metra train station and Pace bus route.

But Armour said the Kreutzer Road project likely will be the only project started in 2013. The village plans to release construction bids for the $5 million project in January.

Unlike major road projects this year, the village will have to foot most of the cost for the Kreutzer extension. County money will cover about $1.5 million of the project, Armour said.

Once construction starts, Kreutzer Road will extend west of the Regency Square strip mall along Route 47, then connect north to Main Street. The road would better serve District 158’s Harmony Road campus and allow for future development on the west side of the village, Armour said.

Residents hoping for accessible public transportation in Huntley will have to wait a few more years. The village has identified potential locations for a Metra station, but Metra officials have yet to bankroll the project, Armour said.

A Pace bus service between the village and Elgin could happen sooner because the idea has garnered support from McHenry and Kane counties.

But the service wouldn’t include a full-service route until officials can build a Metra station, Armour said. The village then would combine both services into a transportation hub for the area, according to the village’s plan.

“Like any of these kinds of projects, you have to keep the conversation going with the appropriate entities,” Armour said. “We continue to look at the needs that are out there and try to identify options to address it, and the challenge to that always is trying to find the funding.”

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