After facing numerous weather-related setbacks, McHenry County’s first tollway ramps onto Interstate 90 are in operation.
Marengo City Administrator Joshua Blakemore said on Monday that the interchange – which is named in honor of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner, who died in the line of duty earlier this year – opened to traffic late Friday evening. The interchange was to have opened on Monday.
During an event celebrating the tollway’s opening earlier this year, an Illinois Tollway representative projected about 4,800 vehicles to cross the interchange each day.
The tollway has had to overcome a number of hurdles over the years for this interchange to come into fruition. Construction was delayed as a result of the large amount of land acquisition that had to take place.
However, the tollway moved forward due in part to an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Tollway, Illinois Department of Transportation, McHenry County and Marengo. Each entity split the cost of construction, so 50% of costs came from the Illinois Tollway, 25% came from IDOT and 25% were from the county and Marengo. Marengo’s share was about $500,000.
This project is one of several that is part of a 15-year, $14 billion capital program called “Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future,” which is devoted to improving mobility, relieving congestion, reducing pollution and creating as many as 120,000 jobs and linking economies throughout the region, according to news releases from the Illinois Tollway.
Dan Rozek, a spokesman for the Illinois Tollway, could not be reached for comment on Monday.