Full interchange at Route 47 and I-88 moves ahead

Most partial Illinois tollway interchanges had one purpose when they were built - get drivers to and from Chicago.

But the intersection of the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) and Route 47 near Sugar Grove is an anomaly, providing ramps to and from the west, not the east.

On Wednesday, tollway directors on the finance committee took a first step to create a full interchange by approving a $2.1 million contract with Itasca-based Civiltech Engineering to design new ramps.

Since 2013, the tollway has added ramps to a number of Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) interchanges built back in the 1950s to serve suburban commuters with access to and from the east only.

Locations with full I-90 interchanges now include Route 47, Barrington Road, Meacham Road and Elmhurst Road.

Wednesday's action resulted from more than a decade of planning and negotiations with Sugar Grove, Kane County and Illinois Department of Transportation.

The I-88 and Route 47 interchange "is the opposite of everything else," Chief Planner Rocco Zucchero said. "The current interchange only provides access to and from the west, basically Sugar Grove to DeKalb."

The design hearkens back to Kane County's historical farming roots before population growth changed commuting patterns, planners said.

Actual construction wouldn't likely begin until 2019 or 2020.

The decision by finance committee members will be voted on by the full board next Thursday. The state and local governments would share the costs of the project with the tollway.

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