The Rolling Meadows City Council will resume discussions Tuesday night on the possible expansion of Meacham Road.
Proposals to widen the rural-flavored stretch of two-lane road has been controversial with neighbors, and Mayor Tom Rooney purposely postponed the council's discussion to be sure interested residents first were informed.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has offered to pay most of the costs of the project not covered by a federal grant in exchange for Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg's taking over ownership and future responsibility of the stretch of Meacham from Emerson Avenue to Algonquin Road.
IDOT estimates the project would cost more than $7 million, with the municipalities each paying $112,500, the state contributing about $2.6 million and a federal grant covering about $4.7 million.
Rooney and some aldermen are on record supporting a three-lane roadway featuring one lane in each direction and a center left-turn lane. That proposal would require much less additional land and have less impact on nearby residents than IDOT's original suggestion of four or five lanes.
Last week the council voted to apply for a federal grant to construct a bicycle path along Meacham, although Rooney indicated that did not necessarily mean the city would eventually build the path.
In April 2012, 150 people attended a public meeting to protest widening the road.
Since then, IDOT has proposed a design process that is more sensitive to community input. The process requires focus groups of residents, business people and government agencies to discuss the issues and takes more time and money than a regular initial engineering study, according to a Rolling Meadows staff memo.
The Rolling Meadows memo says the public meeting and a follow-up engineering report supporting the feasibility of three lanes influenced IDOT's decision to include this process.
City staff currently recommends postponing council action for 60 days, according to the memo, giving the city engineer time to analyze available information, and communicate with IDOT and Schaumburg. Staff also recommends involving Palatine Township in the project.
The council meets at 7:30 p.m. at city hall, 3600 Kirchoff Road, Rolling Meadows.