Yorkville aldermen want to put pressure on state and federal legislators to make changes to Route 47 north of Kennedy Road, including the intersection of Galena Road, which has seen numerous serious accidents in recent years.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to send a letter signed by Mayor Gary Golinski to IDOT Region 2 Engineer Kevin Marchek urging the agency to make necessary improvements to the highway, stating that the city “wishes to voice its fullest support for the intersection improvement at Illinois State Route 47 and Galena Road as well as the expansion of the Northern Illinois Route 47 corridor. These projects exemplify facets of smart investments of funds, and will promote safety and efficient traffic flow north and south within the region.”
In the letter, Golinski states that the Route 47 and Galena Road improvements were originally in IDOT’s budget but were cut during the state’s budget approval process. Golinski writes that the intersection improvements should “receive immediate funding while the Route 47 expansion plan is being considered for funding on a longer term.”
Alderman Joel Frieders, who chairs the council’s Public Works Committee, told his fellow aldermen Tuesday that city officials and residents need to “get loud” to get the attention of state officials to fund the improvements.
“This is the perfect example of an area where we need to get loud,” Frieders said.
He said he doesn’t mean getting loud by yelling, but by contacting IDOT officials and state legislators that serve the area.
Frieders said city staff is working on a webpage linked to the city’s website that will include facts about the highway and the history of the city’s efforts to get the highway fixed.
Frieders took to Facebook on Jan. 17 to appeal to residents to spread the word to get the highway fixed.
In his social media post, Frieders suggested residents do five things:
“1. Share and comment on this post with your own personal horror stories of traveling Route 47 as it is currently. Video testimonials are also greatly appreciated and can be posted on any and all shares of this post and/or upload to youtube and send to IDOT (the IDOT link is below). Use hashtag #fix47NOW to make it easier to collect all comments.
“2. Share this post with your mayors, aldermen, state representatives, city administrators, IDOT representatives, and the governor and ask them to please fund the expansion of Route 47 between Yorkville and Sugar Grove in full.
“3. Contact IDOT directly and paste this entire letter in whole in the question/comment field at http://apps.dot.illinois.gov/WER/?from=1
“4. Email email@example.com with your letter of support if you aren’t social media savvy and I will make sure your comments get added and recognized.
“5. Tag any and all photos, videos, links, or posts regarding the unsafe nature of northbound Route 47 with hashtag #fix47NOW”
Frieders’ Facebook page can be found at Facebook.com/JoelFrieders.
According to Frieders, the Galena and Route 47 intersection has seen nearly 150 accidents since 2011, with 17 accidents causing injuries, including one death that occurred in December. The intersection south of that on Route 47, at Corneils Road, has seen 28 accidents in that same time frame, with five personal injury accidents and a fatal crash in October of 2016, according to Frieders.