Kane County officials expect to begin construction on the long-awaited Anderson Road Corridor this fall but only if Elburn reaches an agreement with the developer of a key aspect linked to the project.
The county board's transportation committee received a report from staff Wednesday that showed nearly all of the required engineering work is done for the corridor. That puts the project in line to go out for construction bids this summer. Work would begin in the fall and take two years to complete.
The two-mile corridor will extend Anderson Road from Route 38 to Keslinger Road, connecting a state highway to a county highway.
A key apsect is an overpass just east of Route 47 that will provide an alternative route for traffic stymied by the 105 trains that go through Elburn every day. The heavy rail traffic often results in railroad crossing gates closing for up to three hours a day.
In addition to reducing congestion, the project is expected to usher in a wave of commercial development along the corridor.
But further progress awaits an agreement between Elburn and Shodeen Construction, which owns 682 acres at the heart of the corridor. The company has a plan for stores, industrial buildings and a large swath of new residential housing. Negotiations on the project between Shodeen and Elburn have stalled over the number of rental units that would be included in the project.
"We are anxiously awaiting and hoping for an agreement with the developer and the village that will cut loose all the funds for this corridor," said transportation committee Chairman Drew Frasz.
A mix of federal and state funds will account for about $18 million of the total $22.1 million cost of the project. The county will contribute about $3 million. Elburn is expected to provide about $400,000.
County board officials noted that funding structure is very favorable to Elburn, which will be the primary beneficiary of the corridor.
County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said he wants to justify the costs the county will incur to all county residents, not just Elburn.
"It's good for Elburn," Lauzen said of the project. "But we need to really know, in the end, 10 to 20 years from now, how much is in there for all the Kane County taxpayers."
Transportation staff said the corridor will be a big benefit to regional commerce and a short-term cost to the county. Jurisdiction of Anderson Road will remain with the county for only one year once the project is complete. From there, all the costs and responsibility will transfer to Elburn. Kane County will also see some of its investment reimbursed through impact fees as development occurs.