Algonquin Tollway Bridge Won’t Relieve Congestion

Motorists won’t flock to a new Bolz Road toll bridge being pushed by area municipal, Kane and McHenry County officials.

That’s what a newly released study by Wilbur Smith Associates indicates, according to an Elgin Courier News article by Pete Gonigam (picked up from sister paper Algonquin Countryside) I read Friday.

Elgin’s Courier-News reports that a 50-cent toll would lure only 16,000 of the 110,000 crossing the Fox River. That’s less than 15% of the traffic.

At the highest toll examined–$2.50 a crossing—only 4,000 of our more affluent neighbors would be willing to pay to avoid the Route 62, Route 72 and Carpentersville crossings.

Traffic consultant Eugene Ryan advised that a $2 toll would yield the most money. That looks like it would between 4,000 and 9,500 vehicles a day. Funny that the consultant did not provide a number.

Of course, the Carpentersville to Algonquin toll bridge supporters don’t yet know how much it would cost to build the bridge.

The question citizens might want to ask is why the Democrats in control of Springfield refuse to build a toll bridge across the Mississippi, but are willing to allow one across the Fox River.

And, if a capital construction bill is every passed, why none of our northern Kane, southern McHenry County legislators have even put this bridge on the negotiating table.

Using an estimated cost of $80 million, Daily Herald reporter James Fuller wrote,

“…an $80 million toll bridge that moves 16,000 vehicles off other roads translates to a traffic congestion relief project that costs $5,000 for each car diverted daily from the existing bumper-to-bumper routes over the river.”

For you potential commuter users, by the way, the consultant recommended a $1.50 a trip toll in order to maximize revenue for the project.

Just as the folks who put together the Illinois Tollway, Longmeadow Parkway Toll Bridge Task Force Chairman Bill Wyatt promised that the tolls would go away after the bonds were paid off.

You believe that, don’t you?

I think I’ll take Route 62 or, if going to Chicago, take the tollway that costs me 40 cents from the Elgin toll plaza to O’Hare Airport.

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The graphic is from Pete Gonigam’s original article in the Algonquin Countryside.

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