Fox River Toll Bridge for Algonquin Review – Reasons for No Tolls

If you live in central Kane County, you get to cross the Fox River on bridges that don’t charge tolls.

Two have been opened in recent years:

  • Red Gate Road Bridge (2012)
  • Stearns Road Bridge (2010)
  • Prairie Street Bridge (1994)

But no new bridges across the Fox River in northern Kane County since the tollway was built 50-60 years ago.

You would think local and state officials would understand that the explosive growth (tenfold population increase west of the Fox River since the 1980’s, Kane County reports) up our way might justify another bridge, wouldn’t you?

Longmeadow Parkway Toll Bridge

Longmeadow Parkway Toll Bridge

So, to ease the pain at getting across the Fox River in southern Algonquin in northern Kane County over the proposed Longmeadow (Bolz Road) Parkway Bridge residents will have to pay tolls.  (Details on the project can be found here.)

No free bridge for us.

We’re apparently second- or third-class citizens.

Elgin’s Daily Courier-News is reporting the Kane County Board is continuing to move toward a toll tax solution (“user fees” for those who aren’t willing to call the new tax by its common name).

And, because of the tolls ($1.50 in rush hours, $1 at other times, the article says), such a new bridge won’t relieve congestion. Read the details of why here.

The toll bridge-road would run from Route 62 over Route s 25 and 31, plus Randall Road to Huntley Road.

But no toll booth.  The collection system would use the I-Pass system.

Area residents should have learned a lesson about tolls.

Even if the local officials at the municipal and Kane and McHenry County level haven’t.

Hey. Everyone’s on board.

The village boards of Algonquin, Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Gilberts, Hampshire, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Sleepy Hollow, and West Dundee all have voted for this new tollway.

As far as I can find, motorists have been asked.

“Toll free in 73” was the slogan when the Illinois Tollway was proposed by Governor Bill Stratton.

Didn’t happen.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge between New Jersey and Delaware was supposed to be toll-free after the bonds were paid off.

Didn’t happen.

Anyone think that once tolls are imposed in Algonquin that they will disappear?

It’s not that it is impossible for a local government to build a bridge over a river and later eliminate tolls.

In Winnebago County, the Bauer Parkway Bridge was built in 1994. 50-cent toll. The bonds will be paid off this month.

The local County Board member Kay Mullins says it’s the only county-operated toll bridge in Illinois.

“’My constituents pay taxes like everybody else, so it’s unfair for them to pay additional funds for’ the bridge, said Mullins D-8,” the Rockford Resister-Star reports.

And, miracle of miracles, the County Board has decided to eliminate the tolls in April.

As I have told you before, when a new bridge across the Mississippi in the Metro-East area was being considered, Missouri wanted it to be a toll bridge.

Rod Blagojevich, pandering as usual to those not wanting to pay their own way, held out for a bridge that will be mainly paid for by Chicago-area Motor Fuel Taxes.

Bridges with spans similar to the one that will be needed to cross the Fox River get built across Downstate interstates. No tolls are charged local residents. And the population trends in the two counties featured in this I-57 overpass story are increasing hardly at all in Coles County and no where near the growth rate in Kane and McHenry Counties in Champaign County.

I would hope that northern Kane County Board members might also argue that their constituents pay local taxes the same way the people who use the three central Kane County bridges mentioned above do.

They have significant representation (4 out of 7) on the Kane County Transportation Committee:

  • Maggie Auger (R-Algonquin)
  • T.R. Smith (R, Burlington, with district including Huntley’s Sun City)
  • freshmen Becky Gillam (R, West Dundee)
  • Joseph Haimann (D, Carpentersville).

And, let’s not let the state legislators off the hook:

  • State Senator-elect Karen McConnaughay
  • State Rep. Tim Schmitz
  • State Rep. Mike Tryon
  • State Senator Michael Noland
  • State Rep. Keith Farnham
  • State Senator Dan Duffy
  • State Rep.-elect Dave McSweeney

And our congressmen:

  • Dick Durbin
  • Mark Kirk
  • Randy Hultgren (R-14th)
  • Peter Roskam (R-6th)
  • Tammy Duckworth

= = = = =
Perhaps the Democrats gerrymandering of this part of Illinois may actually turn out to be a benefit.


Comments

Fox River Toll Bridge for Algonquin Review – Reasons for No Tolls — 4 Comments

  1. While I agree that northern Kane County residents should be the recipients of a “free” bridge, there are some things that have changed since Sterns was bought and paid for by the Speaker of the House Hastert.

    There is no such thing as earmarks any more.

    While there was a massive amount of waste from these allocations of funds, they did get good projects completed without tolls.

    We need traffic relief in northern Kane and southern McHenry Counties.

    Our congressmen are all at a loss as to how the money that used to come from the feds is to be replaced.

    A toll bridge is not what we have been working for over the past 17 years but it is a bridge and the construction bonds will be paid off.

    Give me another source of $40 million for the bridge structure and we will all be happy.

  2. With so many state legislators representing the area which will be benefited, I would go after them.

  3. I agree that we NEED a highway that gets us across the Fox River; but what about the possible need to have a cross over for the Fox River as a community fundraiser for the bridge that my childhood once needed.

    We have been talking about a bridge,for over 30 years.

    I think Klausen Road would be more realistic since the improvements…and the improvements of route 31 to Crystal Lake are more complimentary to the improvements.

    Please consider that the State improvements that have already been made at Klausen road and Route 31 are a distinct location for traffic improvement.

    “The Bolz Road” is a plea for the Long meadow tollbridge which seems to be illogical.

    The properties that would be used along Miller Road just doesn’t make sense.

    The more appropriate call would be Klausen Road, but unfortunately destroys Gods Given Nature from Camp Algonquin properties.

    The Route 25 to Bolz road river access does not match the realistic traffic flow of our Fox Valley environment.

    If you consider the greater good of the area, you will entertain the possibilities of a bridge over the route 25 extension and not allowed the “privilege” to whine about heir horses or property.

    This is an issue for the better of the communities.

  4. Hope the common man can support the need for improvement and not the encroachment of the well to do.

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