The Illinois Department of Transportation once again has changed its timeline for the reconstruction of Route 72 and Big Timber Road near Pingree Grove, whose residents mounted an email campaign to push for the project.
IDOT area programmer Marnie Hooghkirk said the project -- which includes a traffic light with left-turn lanes to replace four-way stop signs -- now has a target bid letting of November 2015, pending necessary land acquisition and funding availability.
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Hooghkirk presented the information earlier this week to the Kane/Kendall Council of Mayors.
The state agency initially planned to open bids this summer, and then postponed that to June 2017, according to Kane County officials.
Route 72 is under the jurisdiction of IDOT, while Big Timber Road is a Kane County road.
The project is estimated at $4.6 million, plus $450,000 already budgeted this year for land acquisition, IDOT spokeswoman Jae Miller said.
As of mid-July, IDOT acquired 10 of the 18 parcels needed, and received title approval for more, she said. "The seven remaining parcels are in condemnation and should be fully acquired in the near future," she said.
Additionally, Kane County has budgeted $30,000 for traffic lights on Big Timber Road.
Pingree Grove Trustee Bernie Thomas said he was glad to know IDOT moved up the project, but added the fight is not over until funding is allocated.
"I will continue to encourage people to put pressure on this," he said.
Thomas has been encouraging residents and Cambridge Lakes Charter School parents to email state Sen. Karen McConnaughay and express their frustrations with the lengthy traffic backups at the intersection.
McConnaughay said she recently received detailed information from IDOT. She drafted a letter to her constituents on Friday to explain the status of the project, she said.
"Part of my job is to work with IDOT and make sure we're in the funding for the appropriate cycle," she said. "I will definitely stay on IDOT to make sure that they stay true to their word that they will move to construction as soon as they have the right of way acquired."
The average daily traffic on Route 72 is about 10,000 cars and trucks per day, which for a two-lane road in northeastern Illinois is "not high," said Lisa Heaven-Baum, acting bureau chief of traffic operations for IDOT.
The problem is that traffic is heavy eastbound in the morning and westbound in the evening, she said.
"With the traffic signal we're going to be able to reduce that delay because we'll be able to time the signal for the direction of travel," Heaven-Baum said.
Gilberts Village Manager Ray Keller said the intersection is part of the village's future growth plans.
"I'm pleased to see the project move back up," he said.