Kane OKs next steps for Algonquin-area bridge

GENEVA – Kane County has taken a key step toward the construction of a bridge that transportation planners believe will help alleviate congestion problems on the county’s north end.

The Kane 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 area bridges. 

Carl Schoedel, Kane County’s director of transportation, said Monday that 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.

The proposed Longmeadow Parkway has been a project 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. 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 to $1.50 per crossing tolls at the new bridge, and federal and state money. 

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 benefit 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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