How many times have you been driving on Route 38 near the Geneva-West Chicago border and been stuck by a passing freight train? Or maybe, one frieght train after the other?
Probably plenty, and the good news is that the wait might soon be over.
That's because the city of Geneva, the state of Illinois and other local government units finally have come to terms on the $26 million project that's primarily funded by the state's capital program. More than 21,000 vehicles travel daily over those tracks, along with 75 freight trains and 54 commuter trains, according to state officials.
Geneva Public Works Director Dan Dinges said the project is scheduled to start in November. In his announcement of the project, Gov. Pat Quinn said work would be finished by the end of 2014.
The bad news: Route 38 will be squeezed to one lane of traffic in each direction during the construction period.
At Monday night's Committee of the Whole meeting, City Council members voted unanimously to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Union Pacific Railroad. The ageement has several attachments, resolutions and quid pro quos, but the bottom line is that it's happening.
Geneva's portion includes $50,000 budgeted for intersection improvements, $88,000 budgeted for the electric casing and another $176,000 for water main relocation.
The work includes widening and reconstructing Route 38 allowing for the construction of a grade-separation bridge carrying traffic over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The improvement will provide two through lanes in each direction separated by a 30-foot barrier median providing exclusive left turn lanes at various locations, and curb and gutter on the outside edges of pavement.
The intersection of Route 38 and Kautz Road will be incorporated on the new structure and a new/modernized signal system installed, according to the intergovernmental agreement.
Additional work will include pavement removal, building removal, PCC pavement, HMA pavement, retaining walls, guardrail, storm sewer drainage system, water main construction, erosion and sediment control and utility adjustments.
The state will be responsible for 67 percent of the maintenance and electricity costs, while Geneva's share will be 33 percent.