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Article updated: 10/22/2013 4:03 PM

Rolling Meadows again postpones Meacham Road decision

Rolling Meadows once again postponed a decision on whether to expand Meacham Road between Emerson Avenue and Algonquin Road.

Rolling Meadows once again postponed a decision on whether to expand Meacham Road between Emerson Avenue and Algonquin Road.

 

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

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A decision on the controversial rebuilding and widening of a rural-flavored stretch of Meacham Road in Rolling Meadows has been postponed again, at least until December.

The Rolling Meadows City Council has asked the city staff to survey area residents again, to once more discuss the plans with Schaumburg officials and talk to Palatine Township officials about potentially contributing to the project's costs.

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In August the city council postponed a decision on going forward with the project until October.

Both Palatine Township and the village of Schaumburg have land along the route of Meacham/Plum Grove Road between Emerson and Algonquin Road.

Schaumburg shared the cost of a 2012 study and would be expected to share the project's local expenses.

Rolling Meadows staffers asked the council last week meeting to approve a letter of intent from the Illinois Department of Transportation which says a three-lane road -- the existing two lanes and a center left-turn lane -- would be feasible.

Schaumburg and Rolling Meadows also should hire an engineer to study the project, a Rolling Meadows staff memorandum suggested.

Each local government would spend $125,000 on the Phase I engineering, which would be their major contribution to the $7 million road project.

Third Ward Alderman Laura Majikes, who acted as mayor pro tem Oct. 15 at the council Committee of the Whole meeting, said Tuesday that aldermen are concerned about the costs -- including whether Schaumburg would share costs associated with construction of the Salt Creek bridge, and who would pay for future road maintenance costs.

"Spending $125,000 for another engineering study is a concern when we don't have definitive answers to some of the questions," she said. "And if we don't proceed with the project we won't get reimbursed."

As it has in other cases, the Illinois Department of Transportation offers to pay a significant share of the road construction in return for the local governments' taking over ownership of the road once the project is finished.

The new ramps proposed at Meacham and I-90 raised concerns that three lanes might not be adequate. However, the Rolling Meadows staff memo said all three bodies -- Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and IDOT -- still think that solution is feasible.

The phase I engineering study would answer questions such as the condition of the bridge, what land acquisition is needed, what will happen to landscaping and the long-term costs of maintaining the road, the memo said. The rules require neighbors to be involved in any planning.

Officials have said the road needs repairs as well as expansion to improve traffic flow. Storm sewers, bike paths and sidewalks would also be installed, which are expected to improve drainage and safety. Plum Grove Junior High School is along that part of road.

Residents along the tree-lined Rolling Meadows portion have objected to the widening. At one point state officials said the road could require four or five lanes, but Mayor Tom Rooney said he would not support any expansion wider than three lanes.

Under IDOT's proposal a federal grant would cover about $4.7 million, and the state would chip in about $2.6 million to the $7 million project.

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