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Yorkville puts in its bid for Route 47 funding

Yorkville Mayor  Gary Golinski

Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski

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Updated: April 1, 2013 11:58AM

YORKVILLE – City officials are reaffirming their support for shifting former Prairie Parkway money to fund widening of Route 47 from Cross Street in Sugar Grove to Kennedy Road in Yorkville.

The City Council this week unanimously backed a resolution to send to the Illinois Department of Transportation and other interested officials backing funds for that section of road.

Mayor Gary Golinski said he thinks it is the best use of the funds once intended for the Prairie Parkway, a proposed link between Interstates 80 and 88 through southern Kane, Kendall and northern Grundy counties. He said it makes more sense than spending the money on the section from I-80 in Morris to Caton Farm Road in Kendall County.

“Why dump the money down there where there’s no traffic?” he said.

The resolution points out that the northern section of Route 47 — the designation for the stretch between Kennedy Road and Cross Street — has between 75 percent and 291 percent more traffic than anywhere in the southern section.

It also points out that all the traffic counts in that stretch are higher than the daily average IDOT recommends for a two-lane highway.

Golinski pointed specifically to the accident statistics, which showed 300 crashes between 2007 and 2011 for the northern section, compared to 97 for the same time period on the southern section.

The mayor said that seemed to “make a big impact” on Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider at a meeting held two weeks ago to discuss what to do with the $51 million left of the original $208 million in Prairie Parkway money. The meeting, arranged by House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, included state road officials and local officials from towns along Route 47.

“That opened her eyes,” Golinski said this week.

Alderman Larry Kot said a person only has to drive that section between Yorkville and Sugar Grove to see that the widening is needed.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in backups because there are just too many cars for that stretch of road,” Kot said.

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