Woodstock seeks input on Route 47 ‘beautification’

Road to be widened from Route 14 to Charles Road

Motorists drive in the mist and rain on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, on Route 47 between Woodstock and Huntley.

Woodstock is seeking community input on the “beautification” of Route 47 as part of the upcoming widening project on the corridor.

Officials are trying to gather community support for an application for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program through the Illinois Department of Transportation for the project, according to a news release from the city.

If the city gets the funding, it plans to include “decorative roadway and pedestrian lighting” and stamped concrete at crossings among other things with the money, according to the release.

According to IDOT’s website, the application for the grant opens Aug. 1. According to the website, the Route 47 widening, which is slated to add one lane in each direction from Route 14 to Route 120, is in Phase 2, consisting of detailed design and contract plans and right-of-way acquisition.

According to IDOT’s website, there will be some roundabouts on the Route 47 corridor as part of the project, at the intersections of Lake Avenue, McConnell Road and Judd Street/Irving Avenue.

The city plans to have a public meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. June 27 at Offsides Sports Bar and Grill, 680 South Eastwood Drive, down the street from the Secretary of State’s Woodstock office, where city officials will talk about the beautification grant.

“We encourage all residents to attend this meeting and provide their input on the beautification efforts,” Christina Betz, the city’s executive director of operations, said in the release. “This is a great opportunity to enhance the aesthetic and safety of our community while preserving its historic charm. We need community support to secure ITEP funding for these improvements, as it is the most important aspect of the application.”

In May, Woodstock officials announced U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, had made a $4 million community project funding recommendation for the Route 47 project. While the amount still has to be approved by Congress, Mayor Mike Turner wrote on Facebook that the funding would help the city with its share of the project. Turner told the City Council in May that cost estimates have come back with a $10 million funding gap relating to water/sewer infrastructure the city is on the hook for, which he said was the result of “intense inflation.”

“We continue to press for additional funding support from the state of Illinois for the city’s costs of the Route 47 expansion,” Turner wrote. “I have made two lobbying visits to Springfield in the past two months to press our case with our local state representatives, with state legislative leaders and with the governor’s office. We are anxiously awaiting the outcome of our efforts at the state level.”

This story has been updated to reflect the Route 47 widening will go to Route 120, not Charles Road.

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