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Author Topic: Prairie Parkway.  (Read 17680 times)

rmsandw

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Prairie Parkway.
« on: April 04, 2009, 10:51:39 PM »

From today's Joliet Herald News

New road for Prairie Parkway funds?
Congressman says money better spent on other roads
Recommend (6) Comments


April 3, 2009

By CHRISTINE S. MOYER cmoyer@scn1.com
Funds that had been earmarked for the proposed Prairie Parkway might be diverted to other Fox Valley roads.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Geneva, said this week that the federal money for the proposed highway might be better spent on other road projects. Diverting the earmarked funds, however, would need approval from Congress.

"There is a near consensus in the area, the first priority for money being spent on roads is probably not in that (Prairie Parkway) corridor but rather beefing up the existing north-south corridors and so on," Foster said this week at a transportation gathering in Washington, D.C.

Foster's communications director, Shannon O'Brien, added Thursday, "We believe we can do more immediate good for the 14th (Congressional District) if we are able to reprogram the money to higher priority projects."

Those priorities should be Route 47 and the surrounding network of roads, according to Prairie Parkway opponent state Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora.

Lauzen was pleased with Foster's announcement, describing it as responsive to the overwhelming number of residents who disapprove of the project.

However, Lauzen is concerned about how the congressman will handle the roughly $207 million already earmarked for the Prairie Parkway.

"It would be just a clever political maneuver if he allows the current funding to go through," Lauzen said.

The proposed 37-mile highway, connecting Interstate 80 and 88, through Kane, Kendall and Grundy counties, has been touted as a way to ease traffic congestion and create much-needed jobs.

Opposing the 'sprawlway'
Opponents, however, have argued the parkway would wipe out hundreds of acres of farmland and trees, while also uprooting homes along the way. The opposition has pushed for large-scale improvements to Route 47 as a more effective option.

"We're excited. This is something we've been working for," said Chrisi Vineyard, who vocally opposed the Prairie Parkway along with the Citizens Against the Sprawlway group.

Vineyard said she and other opponents of the project have been talking to Foster about their concerns with this project since he was elected. In fact, the group has another meeting scheduled for next week.

"I'm glad he's stepping up to the plate," Vineyard said.

Last week, Citizens Against the Sprawlway and Friends of the Fox River filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago against the Federal Highway Administration, alleging the agency violated federal law in how it approved the Prairie Parkway project.

Land already purchased
So far, the Illinois Department of Transportation has acquired around 250 of the needed 2,500 properties in the Prairie Parkway's path, said Rick Powell, IDOT's project manager.

A portion of that property is homes, Powell said, while the remainder is large tracks of open land.

"Our main focus right now," he said, "is engineering and land acquisition."

But not large-scale acquisitions, Powell clarified, just "selected properties here and there."

A little more than $59 million has already been spent on the project. Money is only available to construct the first portion between Route 71 and Route 34 in Kendall County.

Powell noted that IDOT has also been working with Foster in identifying alternate projects.

Should the congressman re-direct the Prairie Parkway funding, Powell said the project wouldn't completely disappear.

"We wouldn't totally kill the project and get rid of the court order of protection," he said. "But we would just move (at) a slower pace on it."

Kendall chairman's support
Kendall County Board Chairman Anne Vickery is among the Prairie Parkway's biggest cheerleaders.

Vickery insisted that just constructing the parkway would directly and indirectly bring 28,000 jobs to the area, not to mention easing congested Fox Valley roadways.

She is hopeful that the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority will take on the Prairie Parkway. The tollway board is currently studying the project.

"We're really hoping that the congressman is going to step up to the plate and give his support toward this," Vickery said. "The needs are not only for transportation, but also the jobs" that would be created.


flaroads

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 12:39:51 AM »

Interesting article about the Prairie Parkway. I actually had to do some cartographic research for this proposed facility as part of my research for the Kendall County area when I worked at a mapping company last year. The route is actually shown as proposed on GMJ maps, though the proposed route is arbitrarily shown and not in its final corridor alignment. From what I seen of the sprawl in Kendall County, I am not surprised that the route is needed but I am also not surprised that it is meeting opposition either. People don't mind living in sprawl neighborhoods and commuting on clogged arterials to get from point A to point B as long as they don't have to have a high speed limited access highway going near or through their neighborhood.
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rmsandw

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 11:26:45 AM »

I was disapointed when they chose the sothern connection to I-80 to be at Minooka.  What I would have liked to see is it connect to I-80 near Saratoga Road west of Morris, and have a clover leaf interchange and end at a stop light at U.S. 6 giving Morris a second interchange on I-80.  The growth in Morris is going west, not east so the Brisbin Road interchange will do nothign to help the horrid traffic issues on west U.S. 6. in Morris.  Plus, from the hopefull road geek in me, a BUSN Loop I-80 from that non exisitant interchange along U.S. 6 to Brisbin Road.  It could work from the Seneca exit (MP 105) along U.S. 6 to Brisbin Road.

leifvanderwall

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 01:13:13 PM »

Just recently, I  extended my I-41 southward to follow Illinois 47 and reading about the Prairie Pkwy. told me I was on the right track. The suburban Chicago area is growing all the time and it seems that I-355 and I-294 have not been able to help the western suburbs as far as congestion goes and maybe I-39 is not enough.
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rmsandw

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 09:23:53 PM »

If it ever goes through, stress ever...It would help.  Combine that with the Illinana Expressway that should go from I-55 west of Elwood straight east to I-65 would help.  You could exit I-88 and head south to I-80 jump over to I-55 on I-80 and then south to the Illiana and catch I-65 and avoid most of Chicago's congestion.

Revive 755

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 10:32:20 PM »

Considering the inability to coordinate traffic lights in Chicagoland, they need another north-south freeway grade facility farther out than I-355.
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Chicagosuburban

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2011, 06:09:47 PM »

Also, if the area is going to explode with population growth like they say it's going to, it needs to go north to I-90 as well as connecting to the proposed Illiana Expressway.
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Brandon

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2011, 07:30:42 PM »

Also, if the area is going to explode with population growth like they say it's going to, it needs to go north to I-90 as well as connecting to the proposed Illiana Expressway.

Agreed, or otherwise, IL-47 will become more of a quagmire than it already is.
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3467

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 09:36:53 PM »

Call Kane county. The I-88 to I-90 section was in the 2010 CATS plan until Kane county said it did not want it.
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Brandon

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 07:04:20 AM »

Call Kane county. The I-88 to I-90 section was in the 2010 CATS plan until Kane county said it did not want it.

Kane has its head up its ass in denial.  They're growing, but want the western part of the county to maintain its "rural character".  Kendall understands that the growth is coming, like it or not, so unlike Lake County and McHenry County, it is best to be prepared.
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hobsini2

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 03:20:18 PM »

Think of it this way. Kane County will continue to have traffic problems until 47 at the least is 4 laned unless the Prairie Pkwy is built.  Some of us remember the "good old days" of Randall Rd.  You used to be able to go between Elgin and Aurora with only 4 lights. Now it is full of strip malls and lights.  That will be 47 very soon if the Pkwy does not get built.
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3467

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 09:28:26 PM »

If anyone get ambitious...It might be worthwhile to see if Dekalb county is interested . It would only be 5 miles west of the old proposed corridor and it would serve more populated areas.The 1-88 /Illiana tie in is multiplexed as well so why not avoid Kane and make all the projects more viable by connecting 1-90 to 1-65.
I think it would warrent a 2di but maybe that one is for fictional highways since this on isnt on the drawing board anymore.
Although unlike most posts in fictional highways this one was real and could easily be real if citizens and Dekalb asked the Tollway
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Brandon

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 09:30:57 PM »

Think of it this way. Kane County will continue to have traffic problems until 47 at the least is 4 laned unless the Prairie Pkwy is built.  Some of us remember the "good old days" of Randall Rd.  You used to be able to go between Elgin and Aurora with only 4 lights. Now it is full of strip malls and lights.  That will be 47 very soon if the Pkwy does not get built.

Been down near Yorkville and Aurora?  IL-47 is already that bad.  From the south end of Yorkville (IL-71) through to I-88 it is nothing but stop-and-go signals and traffic with houses, strip malls, and a waterpark.
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Chicagosuburban

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 09:38:37 PM »

Think of it this way. Kane County will continue to have traffic problems until 47 at the least is 4 laned unless the Prairie Pkwy is built.  Some of us remember the "good old days" of Randall Rd.  You used to be able to go between Elgin and Aurora with only 4 lights. Now it is full of strip malls and lights.  That will be 47 very soon if the Pkwy does not get built.

Been down near Yorkville and Aurora?  IL-47 is already that bad.  From the south end of Yorkville (IL-71) through to I-88 it is nothing but stop-and-go signals and traffic with houses, strip malls, and a waterpark.
Yes, I've been there, I've seen it, and that will continue to creep northward, so the Parkway needs to be built.
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hobsini2

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 12:37:08 PM »

Of course i have. You do know that i am a professional chauffuer don't you? I found myself taking someone to Millington IL of all places yesterday.  Anyway, when i mentioned 47, i was talking about the stretch between Morris and Huntley.
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Stratuscaster

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2011, 09:27:47 PM »

The fate of IL-47 looks to mimic the fate of Randall Road before it, and that of IL-59 before that.

Widening IL-47 isn't all that much of a better idea than the Prairie Parkway, in that you make likely need to obtain even more existing houses and business to make it happen.

Agree that the southern end of the PP should have been farther west on I-80.

I recall one map I had drawn up years ago that I no longer can find - essentially went from US-12 at the IL/WI border, connected with the proposed Prairie Parkway at I-90, followed it down to I-80, and then hooked up with the proposed Illiana Expressway, then headed back up to meet I-80/90 around South Bend, IN. I don't think I assigned one number to it all, but the stretch from I-80 near I-55 to South Bend I had called I-380 at the time - although perhaps I-480 makes more sense.

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Rick Powell

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2011, 08:19:47 PM »

I have recently traveled on the new stretch of IL 59 that was 4-laned between Shorewood and Plainfield, and it is already full of development like Randall Road.  It was the last barren section of IL 59 until a few years ago.

IL 47 will be reconstructed through Yorkville starting next year.  You might want to avoid that area for the next 2 years if possible!  Just drove through the section under construction at Huntley and it is a gigantic mess, with 2 mile-long traffic backups and stoppages during the day.

IDOT has studies going on to widen IL 47 through Woodstock, between Huntley and Woodstock, and from I-88 to I-80 in sections (omitting Yorkville where studies are complete and construction bids will occur late this year).  I doubt it will fill up like Randall or IL 59 anytime soon (a lot of it is still farmland), but you can count on more traffic lights and development where there is access to water and sewer services.

It will be interesting to see what happens to traffic in the 2-lane Kane County bottleneck of IL 47 when Grundy, Kendall and McHenry counties' sections are all 4-laned.
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mgk920

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2011, 09:15:34 PM »

^^
Failing new-ROW freeways/tollways in those areas, could we someday conceivably see some of these arterials ultimately being upgraded in the manner of Texas or metro Detroit freeways?

Mike
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Revive 755

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2011, 11:34:20 PM »

^ Very improbable, given the medievalism being embraced by the Chicagoland MPO, which wants a boulevard for the IL 53 extension (which already has a lot of the ROW purchased).

EDIT:  I'm also thinking that if this was going to happen in Chicagoland, the toll authority would be looking at one of these Texas freeway designs for the IL 59 corridor.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 11:38:08 PM by Revive 755 »
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Brandon

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2011, 12:45:11 AM »

I have recently traveled on the new stretch of IL 59 that was 4-laned between Shorewood and Plainfield, and it is already full of development like Randall Road.  It was the last barren section of IL 59 until a few years ago.

You haven't been around here for a long time then.  IL-59 was full of development for years BEFORE it was widened.  In fact, there's been massive development along there for over a decade now.  IDOT is one of the slowest when it comes to widening anything.  Theodore, Black, Caton Farm, et.al. were all wider than 59, but of course, they're either county or municipal.  Here in Will County, we've learned to trust that IDOT will always be well behind the curve.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2011, 11:42:15 PM »

I have recently traveled on the new stretch of IL 59 that was 4-laned between Shorewood and Plainfield, and it is already full of development like Randall Road.  It was the last barren section of IL 59 until a few years ago.

You haven't been around here for a long time then.  IL-59 was full of development for years BEFORE it was widened.  In fact, there's been massive development along there for over a decade now.  IDOT is one of the slowest when it comes to widening anything.  Theodore, Black, Caton Farm, et.al. were all wider than 59, but of course, they're either county or municipal.  Here in Will County, we've learned to trust that IDOT will always be well behind the curve.

You are right, I went to Joliet Jr College in the late 80's and spent a lot of time commuting thru and exploring Shorewood, and it was not booming yet.  My new job has me commuting to Joliet, and I followed the IL 59 construction when it was going on.  Things had really filled in by then.

As to your comment about IDOT being behind the curve, maybe with widening existing roads - they are a pain with all the existing homes, utilities, etc. to move out of the way.  However, IDOT has tried to plan roads ahead of the curve like IL 53 north extension and Prairie Parkway, and been met with stiff opposition...or in the case of the Fox Valley Freeway, forced to completely drop its plans.
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hobsini2

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011, 05:41:41 PM »

Just remember how long WE were promised the widening of I-55 from Veterans Pkwy (old name - Naperville Rd) to I-80. That took IDOT over 15 years.  In the meantime, development in western Bolingbrook, western Romeoville, Plainfield, and southern Naperville skyrocketed in the 90s and early 2000s.  I am probably one of the few who still remember what is now Weber Rd then Williams Rd being a gravel road along with 111th St.  When Weber was widened and paved to 4 lanes (prior to the I-55 exit being there), there was only a light at Renwick Rd and Caton Farm Rd before you were in Joliet. It used to be an easy 14-16 minutes now that is easily 30 minutes due to the congestion and development.
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Brandon

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 09:17:16 PM »

^^ I remember when Weber was widened from gravel in some parts to four lanes.  The only point where it narrowed was the old bridge over I-55.  Then the interchange was built.  Used to be able to drive Weber in about 10-12 minutes from 30 to 55 if you could hit all the signals green.
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hobsini2

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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2011, 01:08:10 PM »

That's what i was talking about Brandon. The good old days. hehe
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Re: Prairie Parkway.
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2011, 09:44:41 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/us/21cncexurban.html?ref=us

I think this is why the ISTHA is being cautious on the PP/Illiana. In this case ist fine the ROW is being protected unlike teh Fox Valley Freeway and almost every other project ex the Elgin Ohare and Rt 53.
I still think there should be a 4 lane tollway on the Crosstown ROW too. Nonthesless in the ridculous no build environment we live in These 2 new tollways plus a10 lane Tri-State,6-8 lane 90 and new intercahnges is pretty good
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