YORKVILLE – Reconstruction projects for two Illinois highways that pass through Kendall County may soon get millions from the state.
Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder said he heard from the county's lobbyist the morning of Thursday, June 20, that the Illinois Department of Transportation allocated $62 million to make Route 47 four lanes from Kennedy Road to Galena Road in Yorkville. He said the project would also include reconstructing the railroad bridge that spans the highway.
Gryder said Kendall County has remained one of the fastest growing counties in the state, despite most other counties seeing population decreases. He said addressing the maintenance needs on the route, which runs north and south through the county, is going to be vital in keeping up with the county's growth.
“It’s really been a real choke point for a really long time,” Gryder said.
Gryder said the lobbyist also told him that IDOT is allocating $40 million to widen Route 71 from a half mile east of Route 126 to Orchard Road in Oswego, which would continue the improvements that have been made in Oswego to the east of Orchard Road.
Gryder said he was a little surprised and wasn't expecting the state funding for the Route 71 project this time around. However, he said, it makes sense to pick up where the improvements were made about a year ago left off.
Gryder said both projects are part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's $45 billion "Rebuild Illinois" infrastructure plan, which also initially included $57 million to widen Route 47 through Woodstock.
Gryder said he is unsure of the timeline of the state's infrastructure plan as a whole and whether the Kendall County project additions are permanent ones.
“I don’t think it would be shared if it wouldn’t be programmed at this point,” he said.
Gryder said he is also unsure of the timelines of both projects or how long it will take for each project to be completed.
“Just knowing that it is going to happen is really important,” Gryder said.