Kane Co. vote reaffirms support for Longmeadow Parkway

  • Signs along Route 31 at Forest Road show opposition to the Longmeadow Parkway development. The toll road would cut westward across this farm property on Route 31 in Carpentersville.

      Signs along Route 31 at Forest Road show opposition to the Longmeadow Parkway development. The toll road would cut westward across this farm property on Route 31 in Carpentersville. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer April 2015

  • Longmeadow Pkwy route

    Graphic: Longmeadow Pkwy route (click image to open)

 
 
Updated 5/19/2015 4:44 PM

Despite recent -- and vocal -- opposition to the Longmeadow Parkway project, opponents were silent Tuesday as a Kane County committee took a unanimous vote in support of the tollway.

Members of the county board's transportation committee once again backed the concept of building a toll bridge over the Fox River in the northern part of the county as part of an annual vote reaffirming the county's 2040 plan.

 

The document serves as a financial road map for the county transportation department for both the near and long-term future. The Longmeadow Parkway is one of only four priority projects listed in the plan.

Staff members said there will be chances to modify the plan during the upcoming budgeting cycle for 2016. But committee Chairman Drew Frasz said nothing protesters of the parkway have come forward with in recent months has shaken the board's support for the project.

"They are really coming in at the eleventh hour, but I still respect that," Frasz said. "However, I also have to respect the thousands of people who have encouraged us to build a bridge up there that have encouraged us for the last 20 years."

Of the protesters of late, he said, "I look at them as a vocal minority at this point, but we'll continue to listen to them. Until someone tells us otherwise, it's full speed ahead."

There were no opponents present for the vote Tuesday. The group has mostly targeted their comments for meetings where the entire county board is listening. Opponents believe the parkway, which will be located near the McHenry County border, will provide minimal traffic congestion relief in trade for the destruction of forest preserve and neighborhoods along the 5.6-mile corridor of the parkway.

County officials expect construction to begin this fall on the $135 million parkway. The amount of the toll users will pay to cross the new bridge that has not been set. The more state and federal funding the county receives, the lower the toll will be. There is $63 million included during the next three years in the state's highway improvement plan for the parkway.

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