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Yorkville keeps pressure on state for Route 47 funding

Updated: October 15, 2013 7:23AM

YORKVILLE — City officials are keeping pressure on the state to fund widening of Route 47 between Kennedy Road here and Cross Street in Sugar Grove.

Aldermen this week passed a resolution of support for construction funding for that project, hoping to convince Illinois Department of Transportation officials to move it up higher on the state’s six-year highway plan.

The state plan currently has in it Phase I engineering for the section of that widening from Baseline Road to Cross Street, and Phase I and II engineering for the section from Kennedy Road to Baseline.

But there is no construction funding for either. The Yorkville resolution asks the state to put in Phase II for the section from Baseline Road to Cross Street, and to put in construction funding for the entire way.

The resolution comes as the state is beginning hearings and taking input on its 2014-2019 plan.

“IDOT is holding public hearings starting next week, and Route 47 is our most pressing state route transportation issue,” said Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski. The resolution of support passed unanimously.

The state hearings begin from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 18 in the community room of Morris City Hall, 700 N. Division St. Some Yorkville and Kendall County elected officials and staff intend on going to that hearing.

The other area hearings on the plan are: 2 to 6:30 p.m., Oct. 1, Hilton Garden Inn, 4070 E. Main St., St. Charles; 2 to 6:30 p.m., Oct. 8, the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate, 20 S. Eastern Ave., Joliet; and 2 to 6:30 p.m., Oct. 15, Hilton Lisle/Naperville, 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle.

It has seemed that starting late last year and throughout this year, state officials have been listening more to local officials about Route 47. During several meetings with local officials and through area legislators, IDOT Director Ann Schneider reportedly indicated she was impressed by traffic figures given in the area, particular for the stretch of Route 47 between Cross Street and Kennedy Road.

Those figures showed traffic at between 71 percent and 291 percent higher than the section of Route 47 between Caton Farm Road in Kendall County and Interstate 80 in Grundy County, where widening also is planned.

Eventually, the plan is to widen Route 47 from the interchange with I-88 in Sugar Grove to I-80. That would, in effect, create in part that link between the two interstates that was the main point of the former Prairie Parkway project.

With federal officials in effect killing that project, the money has been allocated elsewhere. Area officials were hoping to get the state to put what is left of the Prairie Parkway money, about $52 million, toward the Route 47 widening. The section between Kennedy Road and Cross Street is estimated to cost about $77 million.

While a final determination has yet to be made, it appears IDOT will not put the rest of the Prairie Parkway money toward that northern section of Route 47.

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