Underwood Announces Transportation and Infrastructure-related Member Designated Projects for the 14th District of Illinois

April 27, 2021
Press Release

WEST CHICAGO— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Member Designated Projects selected for the 14th District of Illinois. Member Designated Projects is a new initiative for Fiscal Year 2022 that allows Members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the communities they represent. This new initiative is coupled with stringent eligibility, ethics, and transparency requirements. The projects selected appeared on a state (STIP) or local transportation improvement plan (TIP) from a state or metropolitan planning agency and provided evidence of strong support from the community. All of the projects selected increase safety, economic development, and livability and convenience of communities in northern Illinois.

“Delivering resources to help Illinois communities and families thrive continues to be one of my top priorities in Congress. Today, I’m pleased to announce I am putting forward the following transportation and infrastructure projects for consideration for funding by Congress.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to get these projects funded and seeing the positive impact they will have in northern Illinois,” said Underwood.  

To ensure oversight, transparency, and accountability throughout the process, Members who submit a Member Designated Project request must also post the request online to their official House.gov website. The Committee will also publicly post all submitted Member requests on the Committee website following the closure of the database. Additionally, Members are required to provide a signed certification form for each project indicating that the Member, their spouse, and immediate family members do not have a financial interest in the project and an explanation as to why it is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds. Rep. Underwood’s certification forms for the projects below are available here

Below is the list of projects submitted for consideration by Rep. Underwood. 

PROJECT NAME: Algonquin Road (Various Intersections) and Wilmot Road at Main Street Intersection Improvements 

LOCATION: Algonquin Road (Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin) and intersection of Wilmot & Main in Spring Grove, Illinois  

PROJECT SPONSOR: McHenry County Division of Transportation  

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $2,400,000 

McHenry County is working to improve safety at seven intersections along Algonquin Road, from Haligus Road to Pyott Road, as well as at the intersection of Wilmot Road and Main Street in the Village of Spring Grove. These eight intersections have together averaged over 60 crashes per year and appear on Illinois Department of Transportation’s 5% report, a list of the State’s top 5% most dangerous intersections. The County will be upgrading intersections with flashing yellow arrows and high visibility traffic signal backplates with retroreflective borders. Flashing yellow arrow is a relatively new (2009) safety feature authorized by the Federal Highway Administration. Use of the flashing yellow arrow has been shown to have several benefits including minimizing delays and enhancing safety by reducing driver errors. When illuminated, the flashing yellow arrow signal allows waiting motorists to make a left-hand turn after yielding to oncoming traffic. In addition to the traffic signal upgrades, this project will benefit the local community by upgrading curb ramps, sidewalks, and crosswalks in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This project is supported by McHenry County Board Chair Mark Buehler. 

PROJECT NAME: Bliss Rd/Fabyan from Fabyan to Bliss Rd 

LOCATION: Fabyan Parkway at Main Street, Geneva, Illinois 60134 

PROJECT SPONSOR: Kane County  

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $7,000,000  

This project would advance the construction phase of the realignment of Bliss Road and Fabyan Parkway to create a four-legged intersection with Main Street in Geneva. The project will realign Bliss Road south of Main Street, construct a roundabout at the intersection to address safety and capacity concerns due to the current offset of the roadways, provide access and crosswalks for future park development adjacent to the project, and construct naturalized detention basins. This project is supported by Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog. 

PROJECT NAME: DeKalb Traffic Signal Upgrades 

LOCATION: City of DeKalb, Illinois 60115 

PROJECT SPONSOR: City of DeKalb 

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $570,000 

The present DeKalb/Sycamore traffic control system is operated with obsolete signal controllers that are no longer manufactured or supported. The existing controllers are proving unreliable and replacement parts are of rebuilt stock from previous agency owners. Additionally, as rebuilt parts become more difficult to obtain, staff devoting increasing amounts of time trying to keep the equipment serviceable. As it stands, this system is incapable of providing efficient traffic management and operations for the community in the modern traffic environment. 

The requested funding would be used to upgrade existing roadway intersection traffic signals to ethernet-based, centrally-controlled equipment at approximately 50 locations in the metropolitan area. The hardware upgrades will also allow the City to finally replace outdated software.  This project would serve all members of the DeKalb-Sycamore metropolitan area as the upgraded signal system would be re-optimized for improved traffic flow efficiency, reducing congestion, fuel consumption, and pollution while improving safety for all user types, including vehicles and pedestrians. In addition to providing a system with the latest ethernet-based hardware control technology specified, replacement units and parts are readily available and the modern software system has the ability to work through existing copper or new fiber optic communication cable. Switching to a centrally-controlled system also allows for monitoring and the quick identification and repair of traffic signal issues on the roadway and to adjust signal timing in case of an emergency or special event. 

This project would provide the City the ability to better manage traffic flows, thereby reducing fuel consumption and pollution, preserving cultural resources, and supporting community businesses. This project has been a local priority for the region since first introduced to the DeKalb-Sycamore Area Transportation Study (DSATS) MPO in 2014. Regional partners, including the Cities of DeKalb and Sycamore, Town of Cortland, DeKalb County, Northern Illinois University, and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), have continually listed it as an immediate priority for the region by incorporating it in each MPO Transportation Improvement Program iteration, and subsequent public outreach efforts, since introduced. The project is also supported by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger. 

PROJECT NAME: Fox River Regional Trail: Hoover Forest Preserve-Fox River Bluffs Connecting Trail Segment 

LOCATION: Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Hoover and Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserves; Yorkville, Illinois 60560 

PROJECT SPONSOR: Kendall County Forest Preserve District 

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $240,000  

This project will complete a multi-use trail connection between the trail systems located at Hoover Forest Preserve and Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve (to be constructed in 2021-2022) along the southern wooded-bluff shoreline of the Fox River west of downtown Yorkville within the Eldamain – Phase II right-of-way corridor currently under construction. The Eldamain Road – Phase II project includes construction of a Fox River vehicular and pedestrian bridge crossing that will serve to connect Hoover Forest Preserve to Subat Forest Preserve at River Road.  Kendall County Forest Preserve District is working on completing public access improvements at Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve under a grant agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide initial public access to this forest preserve acquired in 2015. This project will improve access to outdoor recreation and help advance conservation efforts in northern Illinois.  

PROJECT NAME: Main Street Reconstruction from Randall Road to Van Nortwick Avenue 

LOCATION: Main Street, Batavia, Illinois 60510 

PROJECT SPONSOR: City of Batavia 

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $600,000 

Batavia notes that Main Street from Van Nortwick to Randall Road is mostly a rural roadway. This project proposes to upgrade this section of Main Street to an urban section with sidewalk on both side of street as well as on-street bike path. As a result, a continuous bike path from Route 31 to Randall Road be installed, connecting two major highways that run though City of Batavia. This will help the students walking and biking to the high school and to a park across from high school. As a result, pollution from vehicles will also likely be reduced. In addition, a stormwater system will be installed throughout the project resulting in reduced costs for nearby homes and streets. This project is supported by Batavia City Administrator Laura Newman. 

PROJECT NAME: US Route 20 and Reinking Road Roundabout 

LOCATION: Northwest Elgin, Illinois at the municipal boundary between the City of Elgin and the Village of Pingree Grove, at the intersection of US Route 20/Oak Street and Reinking Road. 

PROJECT SPONSOR: City of Elgin 

AMOUNT REQUESTED: 1,200,000

The proposed US Route 20 and Reinking Road intersection improvement will provide a new roundabout in place of the existing 3-leg intersection configuration. The planned project will provide improved lines of site, traffic flow efficiency, increased safety, and improved pedestrian/bicycle access.  Additionally, the project will benefit current and future residents in planned development areas, and regional travelers through improvements to the arterial road network. A primary benefit to IL-14 residents is in the added regional mobility this project will provide. This intersection is of critical importance to the regional transportation network as Route 20 provides critical connectivity between McHenry and Kane Counties via Illinois Route 47, US Route 72, and Interstate 90.  This project will also improve safety - the current configuration of the intersection, with a sharp curve in Route 20, has caused many accidents including one fatality. 

As a neighboring community, the Village of Pingree Grove is working cooperatively with the City of Elgin in support of this project for the increased safety, community and business development, intergovernmental cooperation, and other benefits it brings to residents of both communities and the region. 

PROJECT NAME: Wolfs Crossing Road from US 34 Chicago Road to Eola Road – Douglas Road Intersection 

LOCATION: Wolfs Crossing at Douglas Road, Oswego, Illinois 60543 

PROJECT SPONSOR: Village of Oswego, Illinois  

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $1,205,500  

The project includes the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Wolfs Crossing and Douglas Road, widening of Wolfs Crossing to two lanes in each direction, drainage improvements, sidewalk and path, street lighting, and other improvements. Rep. Underwood has been meeting with the community about the importance of this project for years. The purpose of this project is to enhance safety, reduce traffic congestion, improve mobility and operations, and enhance non‐motorized mobility along Wolfs Crossing Road from US 34 to EolaRoad/Heggs Road, of which this intersection is a critical segment. The project is essential due to the corridor’s crash history, capacity analysis of existing traffic data, the mobility and operations on the corridor, and projected future traffic demand. 

This project has broad support from the community and local businesses, including U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, Kendall County, Oswegoland Park District, Oswego Township, Oswego School District 308, State Senator Linda Holmes, former State Senator Jim Oberweis, and State Representative Mark Batinick. The Village Board of Oswego has also passed a resolution in support of the project.  

PROJECT NAME: Woodstock Railyard Relocation & Expansion  

LOCATION: Lamb Road at UPRR, Woodstock, Illinois 60098 

PROJECT SPONSOR: County of McHenry, Illinois  

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $4,000,000 

This request would advance the Woodstock Railyard Relocation & Expansion from Crystal Lake to rural NW Woodstock by funding project engineering, the next phase in the relocation. Benefits for expanding the current land-locked in-town Crystal Lake railyard to a full-service rural Woodstock maintenance facility include: maximizing safety, security, personal time and convenience for all METRA Union Pacific Northwest line passengers; doubling Woodstock’s current train service schedule; savings on equipment maintenance and replacement costs; attracting additional ridership for METRA; and, decreasing vehicular commuting traffic, thereby saving road maintenance costs and enhancing environmental conditions throughout the region, benefiting 306,000 McHenry County residents. 

This project is a top priority of METRA, with broad community support from RTA, PACE, McHenry County, McHenry County Council of Governments, City of Crystal Lake and City of Woodstock. 

 

PROJECT NAME: 143rd St from IL 59 to IL 126 

LOCATION: 143rd St in Plainfield, Illinois 60544 

PROJECT SPONSOR: Village of Plainfield, Illinois  

AMOUNT REQUESTED: $2,500,000

This project is part of a regional improvement to increase mobility in the greater Plainfield area. The project is a component of a larger corridor level improvement which provides the missing links along 143rd Street from Ridge Road to IL 126. Rerouting traffic along this new 143rd Street corridor will increase the reliability and efficiency of public transportation through Pace’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system along I-55. 

Improving this transit service is integral to expanding economic development opportunities along one of the vital industrial job corridors in the region. Pace has already completed a $5,000,000 Park-n-Ride facility with over 600 parking stalls adjacent to the 143rd Street corridor in anticipation of increased ridership and routes within the region. Additionally, Pace is constructing a $50,000,000 regional bus garage and maintenance facility next to the Park-n-Ride facility to support its growth in the area. Providing additional public transportation options within the region will result in more choices for commuters while decreasing the burden on existing facilities. This project has broad support from the community and local businesses. 

 

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