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City, State Ready to Build Overpass at Route 38 Rail Crossing

Project includes widening and reconstructing on new alignment of Route 38 allowing for the construction of a grade-separation bridge carrying traffic over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

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.

Jennifer October 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Can't wait for this to be done! Starting construction in November? Hmm? I hope it goes quickly because I've been reading about this project for years and years and nothing has ever come to fruition.
Amy Nichols October 12, 2012 at 02:26 PM
what a traffic nightmare!!! with 64 torn up, now 38 will be torn up...Fabyan will be even MORE backed up....and really 2 years to finish?? Quinn says the end of 2014!! UGH!!!!
Todd October 12, 2012 at 06:06 PM
People have been whining about this for years, and now that it's finally going ahead people are whining about what a mess it will be. Of course it will be a mess, all construction is. Of course it's going to take a long time - it's a large project. You can't just stop all vehicle and train traffic for a year to get it done without interruption. Grit your teeth and plan extra time for your commute. You'll get through it, and two years from now you'll forget all about the inconvenience you went through.
Amy Nichols October 13, 2012 at 03:07 AM
@todd...I never whined about it before so please dont include everyone in that statement - you can always plan ahead with extra time in case of trains just like you stated above for planning for extra time for extra traffic ....Just stating that now everyone will be going around the construction which will back things up even further on fabyan and kirk...traffic is already really backed up at kirk and fabyan because there isnt a decent right turn lane. just going to make things worse is all I was sayin'
stephanie bedee January 20, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Perhaps they will be change the traffic light at Kirk and Fabyan as a result of the increased traffic during the Rte 38 construction - two years really is a long time. I haven't noticed much change at Kirk and Fabyan yet, but I suspect it will really back up as the lanes go down to one on 38. In the end, though, you are both right....it will be painful, but we will get through it and likely forget about the headaches once the project is done. However, if its anything like most projects, the end of 2014 will somehow become 2015. :)

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