Bridge work big part of proposed Kane transportation budget

Repairing Kane County's aging bridges will be the focus of the county's transportation department in 2013, according to a new to-do list for the agency released this week.

There are 88 construction and transportation improvement projects planned for next year. Forty-three of those projects involve bridge repair or replacement.

There are 158 bridges in Kane County, and all must be inspected every two to four years. The most involved bridge repair project will be on Randall Road where it runs over Interstate 90. Transportation workers will conduct major joint repair on that bridge in 2013. In addition, bridge work is scheduled on — among other locations — Burlington Road, Kirk Road, Orchard Road over Interstate 88, Silver Glen Road and West County Line Road over 1-88.

The overall transportation budget will be about $88 million in 2013. Capital projects are about 85 percent of the department's budget.

Projects in 2013 will mark the final expenditure of most of the long-term federal funds the agency received before the new, shorter-term transportation funding bill was recently approved by Congress.

The county transportation department's budget involves millions in state and federal funds and is separate from the county's general fund budget, which pays for the remaining bulk of county services and employee salaries. Transportation officials said they expect the 2014 transportation budget to drop by about $20 million as the extra federal funds dry up.

The traffic-snarling portions of the budget are projects long in the making that many commuters will already be familiar with.

The Anderson Road extension project — from Route 38 to Keslinger Road — should move to construction in 2013, as should the I-90 at Route 47 project. Other big projects will include: Widening of Route 25 from two lanes to four lanes at the Stearns Road Bridge Corridor; intersection improvements at Plank Road and Route 47 in Burlington Township; and the Orchard Road lane expansions between Jericho Road and Route 30.

The full county board must still approve the transportation budget as part of the overall budget process.

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