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Algonquin bypass to honor local officials

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:04 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 2, 2014 5:09 p.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – Two bridges that are part of the Algonquin Western Bypass will be named after two people who helped campaign for the construction of the road.

The bypass bridge over Crystal Creek will be named for former county board member Bill Dwyer, who died in 2011.

Dwyer was on the county board for 10 years and helped lead the effort to secure federal funding and support for the bypass project. Dwyer even testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 1997.

"If you knew Bill, ... he had just a positive atmosphere about him, no matter what he worked on, he believed in people working together to solve a problem," said State Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake.

Tryon said when the $31 billion capital bill was proposed, and ultimately adopted in 2009, Dwyer assembled a group of people from the county to lobby legislators to include the Algonquin Bypass as part of that spending plan.

"It helped us do our job better when we would advocate for funding for a project that they tried to tell us would be too big for the capital bill," Tryon said. "We said, 'if that project is not in there, this capital bill doesn't have our vote.' "

The bridge over Route 62 will be named the President John C. Schmitt bridge after the current Algonquin village president.

Schmitt has served on both the Village Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He has helped advocated for transportation and infrastructure improvements in the region, as well as at the intersection of Route 62 and Route 31.

State Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry, said bipartisan support for the project, as well as support from county board members, Algonquin village board members, and current and former staff helped make the road come to fruition.

“We all have people who start projects and people who finish projects, but without that continuum we don’t have success,” Althoff said.

Resolutions to have the bridges named for Schmitt and Dwyer were passed by the state General Assembly in March. Schmitt and Dwyer were both honored this week at the Algonquin Committee of the Whole meeting.

The $33.3 million construction project includes construction of 2.11 miles of a four-lane divided highway, diamond interchange and four new bridges. The new road is meant to divert thru traffic from downtown Algonquin.

"Without the efforts of former generations and existing generations, none of this is possible," Althoff said. "We were successful, we’re going to have a new roadway, people who live here are happy about it.”

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