IDOT plans bridge over tracks at realigned Kautz Rd, Route 38
By Denise LINKE For the Beacon-News October 2, 2012 11:02PM
Updated: November 4, 2012 6:15AM
ST. CHARLES — Sitting in traffic on Route 38 at Kautz Road watching seemingly-endless freight trains crawl past will soon be an old-timer’s tale, visitors learned at the Illinois Department of Transportation’s planning open house Tuesday.
IDOT is poised to award a $25 million contract to realign Kautz Road and Route 38, then build an overpass over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, said Brian Carlson, program development chief of IDOT’s District 1, which includes Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry and Kendall counties. Once officials finish hammering out intergovernmental agreements — the Geneva City Council is scheduled to vote on a pact Oct. 8 — Carlson said work on the project should begin late this fall and wrap up in 2014 or 2015. Since road crews will start by moving utilities, then grading the realigned roadbeds, motorists won’t start seeing lane closures until next fall, he added.
By then, IDOT officials hope to have completed the widening of Route 64 between Route 59 and Seventh Avenue at the edge of downtown St. Charles, Carlson said. “We want to finish the Route 64 project by the end of 2013 so that people can use Route 64 as an alternate to Route 38 when we start closing lanes for the bridge project,” he explained.
Another upcoming Route 64 project captured Virgil Village President Jamie LeBlanc’s attention. “Route 64 is pretty clean going through town, so I’d like to know what this thick red line means on the map [that displayed planned projects through 2018],” he commented.
LeBlanc brightened when he learned that IDOT plans to resurface Route 64 sometime in the next five years at a projected cost of $2.3 million. “That will be a good thing for Virgil,” he said.
An ongoing project to rebuild Route 64 between LaFox Road and Route 47 has already benefited Virgil residents, LeBlanc asserted.
West DuPage County residents who are still coping with construction related to the widening of Route 56 between East Loop Drive and Kirk Road will soon have to add Route 59 to their list of roads to avoid. Next year IDOT plans to start a $71 million, multi-year project to widen Route 59 from four lanes to six lanes between Ferry Road and New York Street, Carlson said. The project includes a complete rebuilding of the Route 59 and I-88 interchange using a new design that will eliminate the need to cross opposing traffic while entering or exiting the expressway.
“[The new interchange design] looks kind of like a Tootsie Roll,” explained John Baczek, District 1 project and environmental studies section chief. Officially called a diverging diamond interchange, it will replace the two intersections that include left turn lanes leading on and off ramps with two intersections, at least 600 feet apart, which will criss-cross northbound and southbound traffic. The design, so far used only in Missouri, will make the Route 59/I-88 interchange safer for motorists, Baczek said.
For more information about upcoming and proposed road projects, visit IDOT’s planning website at www.IllinoisTransportationPlan.org.