New Perryville proposals

New Perryville proposals

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Winnebago County Board Member Larry Bauer (R-2) presented new Perryville plans to the board that obstructs the county’s existing plans.

Bauer, Charlie Hollerith (R-2) and Roscoe Township Supervisor Tom Hawes devised the new alternatives to the proposed extension.

Bauer stated the county should use one or a combination of the proposed alignments. Bauer said that in contrast to the county’s plans, the alternatives are less intrusive, meet the desires and needs for traffic and are possibly more cost-effective.

Winnebago County Board Chairwoman Kris Cohn noted the Public Works Committee will review the proposals.

In addition, Hawes, Hollerith and Bauer are asking the county to form a review commission consisting of citizens and the county board to digest public input and derive a cost-benefit analysis. So far, the county has adamantly refused to supply an analysis of the county’s proposals. “How can you do a benefit analysis and not talk to the people it affects?” Hawes asked.

Bauer, Hollerith and Hawes are asking the county to obtain the requested information and report back in about four to five weeks.

The new proposals were created in response to concerns emitted from outraged residents who attended a Jan. 29 hearing held at Roscoe Middle School. During the meeting, about 900 individuals booed the county’s persistence in endeavoring to create the $34 million extension, which would start at 173 and traverse north to the stateline.

After the meeting, Hawes said the township won’t allow the county to cross Stone Bridge Trail, which is required with all five alignments the county is considering.

The county showed the crowd on a large map the alignments it came up with as supposed alternatives. “Their proposals, in my mind, aren’t real alternatives,” Hawes said. “It does all the same thing. In the end, it’s a four-lane highway. The alternatives they have are smoke in the mirrors.”

He said that possibly, the option could be nothing at all. “That’s an option you have to explore,” he stated.

Opponents maintain all proposals will be detrimental in ways that include harming the environment.

County Engineer Joe Vanderwerff said that all wetland work will be completed responsibly.

Bauer also said that the other alignments that would travel through Kinnikinnick Creek would be very costly since the county would have to take care of wetlands. “Somehow, you have to deal with wetlands,” he noted. “That’s got to be an amazing engineering process.”

In addition to the wetland costs and possible harm, opponents think other roads should be

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repaired first. “We have other roads that are in dire need of repair … that need improvement today,” Hawes said.

Hawes wouldn’t speculate on the county’s intentions for pushing the road proposal at full force. “I don’t think it relates to satisfying the transportation needs,” he said.

Hawes was disappointed in the way the county has dealt with the township. “The county didn’t communicate with us directly,” he asserted.

(New proposed alignments—source: Roscoe Township)

1. Expand IL 251 between IL-173 and IL 75 into six lanes.

a. Cost shared by all taxpayers in the state (not just local tax burden).

b. IL 251 is widely used, familiar to residents.

c. Maintenance provided and paid by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

d. The use of frontage roads off IL 251 currently provides better access control to local business.

e. Infrastructure improvements such as municipal sewer and water already in place to support commercial or industrial.

2. Expand I-90 between Rockford and Beloit to six lanes.

a. Cost shared by all taxpayers in state.

b. I-90 is widely used, familiar to residents.

c. Maintenance provided and paid for by the Illinois Tollway Authority.

d. Inside/left shoulders of road upgraded and widened recently for expected construction of additional lane traffic.

e. Fastest method of travel for getting to points south of East State Street from South Beloit area.

3. Extend Perryville from IL 173 to Belvidere Road with an improved two-lane or three-lane road design. (Extend Perryville Road straight north to tie in with Mitchell Road)

a. Mitchell Road needs to be improved to handle increased local residential traffic.

b. It would allow access to and from downtown Roscoe for local residents, businesses and visitors.

c. It would improve traffic design between McDonald and Swanson roads.

d. Less cost to local county taxpayers than current proposed four-lane road plan.

e. A two-lane road north of IL 173 was part of the original county road plan Sagewood Subdivision residents expected.

4. Extend Perryville Road from IL 173 to Belvidere Road with an improved two-lane or three-lane road design. (Improve Mitchell

Road from IL 173 to Belvidere Road)

a. Mitchell Road needs to be improved to handle increased local residential traffic.

b. It would allow access to and from downtown Roscoe for local residents, businesses and visitors.

c. Less cost to local county taxpayers than current proposed four-lane plan.

d. It would improve traffic design between McDonald and Swanson roads.

e. A two-lane road north of IL 173 was part of the original county road plan Sagewood Subdivision residents expected.

5. Improve existing Willowbrook Road from Elevator Road to the stateline to become an

improved two-lane or three-lane road.

a. Less cost to local county taxpayers than current proposed four-lane road plan.

b. Will meet Year 2020 projected IDOT traffic counts (13,000-14,000 avg. daily traffic)

c. Will provide increased safety by providing appropriate intersection improvements, turn lanes, widening and improved road surface.

d. Would be consistent with City of Beloit plans for Willowbrook Road design coming from the north down to the stateline (two- or three-lane design planned when development warrants construction).

e. Would still promote economic development.

6. Construct an additional access to I-90 with construction of an interchange at Belvidere Road.

a. Allow quick access from the Village of Roscoe to Rockford and points south.

b. Winnebago County could share in cost (as was done with Rockton Road–about $1 million, county contributed).

c. Creates additional local commerce and increased economic development and visibility for the Village of Roscoe.

d. Costs for construction could initially be deferred by a 15 cent toll or issuance of state bonds.

7. Economic development alternative-expand Bell School Road to four lanes.

a. Cheaper alternative (fewer miles than proposed Perryville extension).

b. Currently, impetus already exists for more economic development with new businesses being built such as MCI WorldCom and Cub Foods.

c. Has current access to Perryville Road (via Spring Creek Road and Guilford Road).

d. Additional sales revenue could be used to upgrade existing roads such as Hononegah.

e. Infrastructure improvements such as municipal sewer and water already in place to support commercial or industrial growth.

8. Expand Perryville north of IL 173 to merge

into IL 251 (north of Forest Hills Road)

a. Less cost to local county taxpayers than current proposed four-lane road plan.

b. IL 251 is widely used, familiar to residents.

c. Additional saved revenue could be used to upgrade existing road such as Hononegah.

d. Infrastructure improvements such as municipal sewer and water already in place to support commercial and industrial growth.

e. It would help relieve current local traffic on Forest Hills.

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