Kane County's plan to build the Longmeadow Parkway bridge has received a big boost with the state pledging to pick up about one-third of the estimated cost.
The county announced Tuesday evening it will receive $40 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation, and $5 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funding from the Kane-Kendall Council of Mayors.
The 5.6-mile corridor, including a four-lane bridge over the Fox River, will extend from Huntley Road west of Randall Road near Boyer Road, to Route 62. It will link Randall and Routes 31, 25 and 62, passing through Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills, as well as unincorporated territory.
The county has estimated the cost at $120 million. It is in the second phase of engineering, so the county has not sought construction bids. The county also has to buy more land for the project; it has about 60 percent of the land needed, according to a news release. Construction could begin in 2015.
The funding is more than County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen had sought when he announced last year he had a "personal goal" to obtain $10 million to $15 million in state or federal funding, to reduce the county's cost of the project, he told the county board's executive committee Wednesday.
"I am delighted that we have met and exceeded that goal," Lauzen said.
Part of the local funding will come from tolls charged to bridge users. The county has proposed a $1.50 toll for rush hours and $1 the rest of the day. Lauzen said the receipt of the state and federal money could result in lower tolls.
Lauzen reiterated that charging a toll will help spread the cost of the bridge on to people who don't live in Kane County. The bridge is near the northern edge of Kane County, and McHenry and Cook counties' residents will benefit from it, he said.
Lauzen credited the good reputation of the county's transportation department leaders, and support from municipal leaders in northern Kane County, for getting the state money. He also credited the influence and expertise of Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, who is chairman of the Kane-Kendall Council of Mayors and has dealt with regional transportation projects for many years in leadership roles with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.