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Regional lobbying effort to widen Route 30? : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Regional lobbying effort to widen Route 30?
Montgomery official proposes village ask support of other area towns, counties

by John Etheredge


Montgomery Village Board member Steve Jungermann told his board colleagues last week he would like the village to ask its neighboring communities to support the village's ongoing effort to have the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) widen U.S. Route 30 between Ill. Routes 31 and 47.

Jungermann proposed the village adopt a resolution asking IDOT to expedite the widening project. He suggest the village could then ask the governing bodies of Oswego, Yorkville, Sugar Grove, Aurora and Plainfield along with Kane and Kendall counties to also approve the resolution.

Jungermann said he views the widening of Route 30 as an "economic driver" for the village's far west side.

"But it goes beyond the village," he continued, "It's a regional thing. It will help the entire region."

Jungermann said if the village can secure the support of the other municipalities and the two counties it could help local state representative and state senators in their efforts to persuade IDOT to budget funds for the project.

"I think we have a better chance of pulling this forward and making this happen if they (state lawmakers and IDOT officials) are seeing tens if not hundreds of thousands of people being represented saying, 'Hey, we need this,' as opposed to just a village board that represents 20,000 people," Jungermann said, adding, "This is one of those instances where I think we have to work together as a region to get this going."

Peter Wallers, president of Engineering Enterprises, Inc., the village's engineering consultants, told the board that IDOT is expected to complete the first phase of initial engineering design work for the project this winter, but funds for final engineering and construction are not currently included in the agency's five year highway construction program.

However, Wallers said IDOT officials review their five year plan annually and could add the Route 30 project to the program.

Jungermann mentioned that a local state senator told the audience at a recent Oswego Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast that it would be difficult to have IDOT add the Route 30 project to its five year program.

"But I believe if we put pressure on our elected representatives from the state they are the ones that fund IDOT," he said, adding, "Let's see what we can do."

Board member Theresa Sperling said that members of the Kendall County Board that were also in attendance at the chamber's legislative breakfast expressed support for the Route 30 widening project.

"Everyone is in support of it, but nobody has any idea on how it will be funded," Jungermann said.

Village President Matt Brolley said IDOT will not fund the project until after the first phase engineering is completed this winter.

"I'm not opposed to us passing that resolution," he added.

However, Brolley cautioned the board that communities like Sugar Grove have their own priorities when it comes to improving local highways.

"It's the people who drive through this area at Orchard and Route 30, primarily, that feel the pain on this," Brolley said, "So I think this is something we need to focus on and keep our attention on as we move forward. And we certainly need to keep communicating with our state representatives and senators."

In a related matter, Wallers told the board that he believes it is likely IDOT will complete the widening of Route 30 in phases.

"I think it is likely they would do that because there are elements of that corridor that would be a bigger benefit to improve than the entire corridor and I think the intersection of Orchard Road and Route 30 is a good example," he said.

Wallers noted the need to widen and improve the Orchard Road and Route 30 intersection has been discussed previously.

"It's a costly piece of the puzzle because they (IDOT) will have to replace the bridge over Blackberry Creek (just west of the intersection) because they need to go to at least four lanes on Route 30 to have adequate lanes for turning and for the stacking distance that we currently don't have," he said.

Board member Doug Marecek noted that the intersection was actually closed to traffic due to an accident as IDOT officials presided over a hearing on the Route 30 plans at village hall July 30.

Funding for Montgomery
Road upgrade study OK'd

In other business, board members voted unanimously to contribute $70,000 in state reimbursed Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) revenues to Kane County to pay for the village's share of the cost for first phase engineering for the proposed improvement of Montgomery Road between Ill. Route 25 and Hill Avenue.

Kane County, which owns Montgomery Road in the village, has hired HDR Engineering at a cost of $961,633 to complete the study.

In voting to contribute funds for the study, board members noted they are not obligating the village to assume ownership of Montgomery Road when the improvements are completed.

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