The Kane County Division of Transportation will soon pitch $61.2 million in capital projects for the 2014 budget year. The cash would fund a workload of 77 road, bridge and traffic flow improvements while also keeping the administration's promise to freeze the county's property tax levy.
KDOT is calling for an overall budget of nearly $82 million, which is larger than the county's general fund budget. The division's revenues come from a mix of eight special transportation-related property tax levies, sales taxes and road impact fees. Capital projects are the big lever in the transportation budget, representing about 86 percent of its expenses.
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The biggest, most visible projects on the to-do list for 2014 include:
• Continued widening of Route 25 along the Stearns Road Bridge corridor: $1.4 million.
• Grade separation and establishing Metra station access via the Anderson Road overpass: $10.2 million.
• Land acquisition and pre-construction engineering for the Longmeadow Parkway toll bridge corridor: $11.1 million.
• Continued construction on the Interstate 90 at Route 47 Interchange: $500,000.
The division also has 34 bridge repair and replacement projects at a cost of $15.6 million in the budget, including major work along Burlington Road, Empire Road and Harmony Road in 2014. Roughly 60 miles of pavement will be resurfaced or see maintenance work at a cost of $9.6 million.
County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said KDOT's budget emphasis on maintenance is a big part of keeping long-term costs down.
"If you take care of what you've got, and you don't let it fall apart, then it doesn't cost you as much on an ongoing basis," Lauzen said.
On the revenue side of the ledger, KDOT staff members warned officials income from the county's share of the motor fuel sales tax is expected to continue a seven-year trend of diminishing returns. Officials said the increasing popularity of electric cars and vehicles that get better gas mileage will continue to slow that revenue stream.
The proposed budget must still go through the county board's committee process.