DuPage road projects get financial boost from state

DuPage County is going to receive $3.65 million in additional state funding to help pay for four major road projects along 55th Street, 75th Street, Fabyan Parkway and Gary Avenue.

The announcement comes just weeks after county board Chairman Dan Cronin had discussions with Gov. Pat Quinn about improving DuPage’s road system.

“The governor and his administration have gone to great lengths to help with our infrastructure needs,” Cronin said Wednesday. “I am delighted to work with Gov. Quinn. I believe he has been very good to DuPage County.”

The state, for example, is planning to build an overpass at Route 38 and Kautz Road in West Chicago. When that nearly $26 million project is completed in 2014, vehicles on Route 38 will be able to pass over the Union Pacific tracks.

The project will put a T-intersection with signals on the new bridge. In addition, Route 38 will be widened and realigned from east of Kirk to east of Technology Boulevard, providing two lanes in each direction.

Now thanks to the state money, DuPage can proceed with planned improvements to the nearby intersection of Fabyan Parkway at Route 38. That work is expected to be bid in spring 2014.

The federal government is going to pay $5.6 million of the project’s $7 million estimated cost, officials said. DuPage had to raise the rest of the money.

So the $1 million the county is getting from the state for the project is “significant,” according to county board member Don Puchalski.

Puchalski said the fact DuPage is getting any money from Springfield during these tough economic times is “a huge plus for us.”

“These were four of our major projects that we were trying to get funded,” said Puchalski, who is chairman of the county board’s transportation committee. “All of these projects are going to be beneficial to the entire county. But we didn’t have the money to do them due to the tight budget that we’ve had the last few years.”

While the federal government agreed to pay most of the cost of the 55th Street, 75th Street and Fabyan Parkway projects, DuPage still was required to raise millions to qualify for the federal dollars.

“Getting this (state money) allows us to get the federal funds and to do these projects,” Puchalski said.

Officials said $1 million in state money will be spent resurfacing 55th Street from Dunham Road to Clarendon Hills Road near Downers Grove and Westmont. Bids for the estimated $4.75 million project are expected to be sought in fall 2015.

Another $1 million in state money will go toward a planned $12.7 million reconstruction of 75th Street from Adams Street to Plainfield Road in Darien. The project, which also will add lanes and improve intersections, is expected to be bid this fall.

The fourth road project to get state funding is a $6 million widening and resurfacing of Gary Avenue from North Avenue to Army Trail Road in Carol Stream. DuPage is going pay about $5.4 million and state will contribute $650,000. Bids for the project are expected to be sought this fall.

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