Longmeadow Parkway bridge project closer to eliminating tolls

The state gave Kane County $17.5 million for the construction of the Longmeadow Parkway. But that was only half of the money needed to eliminate planned tolls.

Kane County has successfully secured additional funding through a bipartisan effort by state lawmakers, to support eliminating a toll on motorists using the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge over the Fox River when the bridge opens next year, according to a news release from Kane County.

The capital bill for the state’s fiscal 2024 budget contains $12.5 million to cover bridge construction costs. The funding is in addition to the $17.5 million Kane County was allocated by the state in fiscal 2023.

“We are grateful to our state legislators, under the leadership of House Speaker Chris Welch and Senate Leader Don Harmon, for recognizing the importance of this regional corridor and the financial burden a toll will put on motorists and trucking industry,” Kane County Board Chairman Corinne Pierog said when announcing the additional state funding.

According to the release, Pierog attended the 2023 spring legislative session prepared with economic data and letters of support to urge the state to contribute millions more towards the effort to eliminate a tolled bridge.

“I would like to thank our state lawmakers: state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin and state Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, with the support of state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, and state Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles. They were instrumental in driving home the significance of this issue, and passing a funding measure that protects the embodiment of what the Longmeadow Parkway Bridge Corridor means to the future of Kane County and surrounding region,” Pierog said.

The total amount of funding necessary to eliminate the need for the toll system is estimated at $35 million. The remaining $5 million is expected to come from a partnership between Kane, McHenry and Cook counties.

Kane County will assume all future maintenance costs that were scheduled to be funded by the toll. The 5.6-mile-long Longmeadow Parkway Corridor passes through portions of Algonquin, Carpentersville, Barrington Hills as well as unincorporated Kane County. It is expected to relieve congestion on Illinois Routes 62 and 72, and the Main Street Bridge in Carpentersville, according to the release.