Illinois Tollway Advances Route 47 Interchange Project.

By: From the Illinois Tollway
By: From the Illinois Tollway

DOWNERS GROVE (WIFR) -- The Illinois Tollway Board of Director’s Strategic Planning Committee today recommended approval of an intergovernmental agreement among the Tollway, the Village of Huntley, Kane County, McHenry County and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) authorizing the financing and construction of a new $69 million, all-electronic interchange at Illinois Route 47 on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Huntley, Illinois.

The Illinois Route 47 Interchange project will include construction of six new ramps, all-electronic toll collection, bridge reconstruction on Illinois Route 47 over I-90, as well as local traffic signal installation and lighting improvements. Existing ramps only provide access for drivers traveling to and from the east on I-90 and were constructed as part of the original Tollway system, which opened in 1958.

“Building a complete interchange will create more opportunity for continued economic development along Illinois Route 47 and will open up access between the Tollway and a regional north-south transportation route,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “The Illinois Tollway has committed to rebuilding I-90 as a 21st century corridor and this project will be one of the first pieces to be completed as part of our new Move Illinois capital program.”

Recent approval of the Illinois Tollway’s $12 billion, 15-year capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, enabled the Tollway to move the Illinois Route 47 Interchange project up to 2012 from 2014. Once the intergovernmental agreement is approved by all of the participants, the Village of Huntley will finalize construction plans, and the Tollway will lead construction and seek competitive construction bids for the project. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2012, with completion of the project anticipated in 2013.

“The Illinois Route 47 Interchange project has brought out the best from all involved in a show of intergovernmental cooperation and coordination of limited resources,” said Illinois Tollway Board Director Tom Weisner, who chairs the Illinois Tollway’s Strategic Planning Committee. “Communities looking to the Tollway to advance interchange improvements in their own areas should follow the example set by this project.”
In addition, the project will feature several new green construction initiatives, including a geothermal water piping system that makes use of the earth’s natural heating and cooling abilities to help heat and cool nearby plaza buildings in a more cost-effective and sustainable manner, reflective roofs and trellised vegetation for plaza buildings to further reduce heating and cooling costs, as well as ramp shoulder pavement that will allow water to seep through and reduce stormwater runoff.

Under the agreement, the Tollway will finance half of the estimated $69 million project cost. Consistent with the Tollway’s Interchange Policy requiring local communities to cover half of the cost of interchange improvements, the local share will be split: IDOT will contribute approximately 25 percent and the remainder will be funded by Huntley, Kane County and McHenry County. Huntley also has funded the $2.5 million cost of preliminary design and engineering studies, as required by the Tollway.

The new interchange will provide full access between Illinois Route 47 and I-90, opening up direct access to and from the west to Huntley for future commercial, office and light industrial space. The current partial interchange provides access to existing developments, including Huntley Outlet Center and Del Webb’s Sun City Huntley, as well as recent developments, General RV and FYH Bearing Units USA.
The agreement will be presented for approval by the full Illinois Tollway Board of Directors at its September 29 meeting.

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