Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other county officials joined with their Schaumburg counterparts Thursday to mark this year's important collaborative road projects and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cook County Highway Department.
"This is a real opportunity for us to show off the good work the county does," Preckwinkle said.
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The morning news conference took place at the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle roads, where an imminent southbound right-turn lane is planned to meet a long-delayed demand.
Other joint or cooperative road projects in Schaumburg include a $3 million full-scale rehabilitation of 3.1 miles of Schaumburg Road from Barrington to Roselle roads, as well as improvements at Schaumburg Road and Salem Drive, and Roselle Road and Bethel Lane.
They are all part of the county's plan to spend $35 million to improve 49 lane miles in 19 municipalities this year.
Many at the event noted the improved relationship between Cook County and suburban municipalities under Preckwinkle's administration, including County Board Commissioner Tim Schneider, whose 15th District includes Schaumburg.
"It wasn't long ago, and under a different administration, that this district couldn't get a stoplight put up even if the municipality was going to pay for it," Schneider said.
Schaumburg's senior Trustee George Dunham thanked Preckwinkle for the new spirit of cooperation as he filled in for Mayor Al Larson, who was in Springfield for a meeting of the Illinois Municipal League.
Herman Brewer, chief of Cook County's Bureau of Economic Development, spoke about the strong relationship between road improvements and economic growth -- something that made Schaumburg an ideal location for the news conference.
"Civically, people like to see their dollars in something they can see, feel and touch," Brewer said. "You see a return here on your investment."
Other Cook County projects in the Northwest suburbs this year include resurfacing Arlington Heights Road from Brantwood Avenue to Cottage Grove in Elk Grove Village, and rehabilitation of Hintz Road from Arlington Heights Road to Elmhurst Road in Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights.
Cake was served to celebrate the county highway department's 100th birthday. Preckwinkle said the department was created in 1913 to literally "pull the county out of the mud" and onto paved roads.