Barrington gets key funding for Route 14 underpass
Barrington has reached another milestone in its long journey toward building a Route 14 underpass at the Canadian National Railway crossing.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has agreed to provide $4 million to help fund land acquisition for the project, which is estimated to cost about $62 million in all, according to village officials.
The project, which has been in the works since 2010, would carve out an underpass beneath the tracks on Northwest Highway east of Route 59. That would ensure there is always at least one crossing in the village that won't be shut down when the CN trains roll through town.
The work will require authorities to buy and demolish homes near the crossing.
Village President Karen Darch said officials are happy to get the commitment from IDOT because it allows homeowners affected by the project to sell their properties sooner rather than later.
Greg Summers, the village's director of development services, said he will meet again with IDOT to address several questions, including when property owners would be able to sell to the state agency.
The village still has a way to go before the underpass project can go ahead. In a message to residents that will appear in the village's September newsletter, Darch writes that $17 million has been committed to the project from federal and state sources. An additional $45 million is needed.
The village hopes federal authorities force CN to pay a large chunk of the remainder, a request that was denied in 2008, 2009 and 2011. The village has argued that CN should have to chip in because of how frequently its trains snarl village traffic.
Barring any changes to the plan, the village will have to pay only $403,317 for the underpass.
The underpass project won't begin until the village completes work to realign the intersection where Lake Zurich Road meets Northwest Highway near the train tracks. The $5.4 million project will shift Lake Zurich Road south to the intersection of Berry Road and Northwest Highway, which also serves as the entrance to the Barrington Area Public Library. The village will contribute around $348,700 to the realignment cost.
Darch indicated the Lake Zurich Road project could be complete as soon as the fall of 2018.