County Board Appointment Interview – Rt. 23 Intersection with Tollway

Third on McHenry County Board Chairman Joe Gottemoller’s list of highway projects for which he sought reactions from the four applicants for appointment to the rest of just-resigned Metra Board member Ken Koehler was financing an intersection at Route 23 with the Tollway.

The sign for the toll booth in McHenry near County is attached to the Route 23 overpass.

The sign for the new Huntley toll booth is attached to the Route 23 overpass.  The Toll Highway Authority has said it is willing to replace the old bridge with one that would be compatible with an intersection.

Gottemoller pointed out that McHenry County taxpayers were already financing a study of such a project that was being run by the City of Marengo and that he had met with city officials two weeks before last Thursday’s meeting.

Cameron Hubbard

Cameron Hubbard

Answering first this time was Crystal Lake City Councilman and financial advisor Cameron Hubbard.

“I don’t know the facts, so I can’t give you an answer,” he said.

“What would be relieved in other areas?” he asked.

Tom McDermott

Tom McDermott

Tom McDermott, who served as Sales Manager for Arnold Engineering in Marengo, commented on the problems that would occur in Downtown Marengo [where Routes 23 and 20 intersect].

“[There] will be another problem,” he observed, saying that “a by-pass around Downtown” would be needed.

He said “a lot more information [would be] needed.”

“I think it’s good for the County.

“It will open up the western side of the County,” McDermott concluded.

Custom home builder John Reinet’s reaction was

“It would just open us up.

“It would alleviate the taxes.

“I’m in.

“It’ll get us to the highways.”

Jeff Thorsen

Jeff Thorsen

Union banker Jeff Thorsen, who is a veteran Crystal Lake City Councilman, was the final applicant to address the new intersection question.

“I’m not sold at this point.”

He explained that he was considering “stewardship of the County from an agriculture and conservation viewpoint.”

Thorsen is concerning about “balance.”

“If it is an economic windfall for Marengo, then it would be good for McHenry County, too.

“Marengo believes it is going to be something very well for their community.”


County Board Appointment Interview – Rt. 23 Intersection with Tollway — 19 Comments

  1. If I understand the situation correctly the Mayor of Marengo bought up land all around this I90 and RT. 23 connection so he stands to make a great deal of money should this plan go through.

    I live on Rt. 23 and will not embrace the additional traffic and Truck traffic that will come from this Intersection.

    I would challenge the idea that it will be an economic gain for Marengo as would many citizens who live and work here.

  2. I was at the meeting where the plan to do the study was approved.

    There were a number of people from (I believe) village leadership that stated that they had no interest in the intersection.

    Nonetheless, the board approved the study ($300K if I recall correctly).

    At that point it was “just a study”.

    Today, the study is positioned in such a way as to indicate that the intersection is a forgone conclusion, as if approving the study NOW is the same thing as approving the intersection.

    If anyone is taking bets, I would like to bet $1,000 that the report will come back in favor of the intersection, because that’s money in the bank.

    The next thing you will hear (if you contest the project) is that “it wont come out of your taxes, the state (or some other taxing body) will pay for it”. REMEMBER, ALL THE MONEY THAT THE STATE/COUNTY/CITY/COUNTRY HAS CAME OUT OF YOUR POCKET!!!

    Keep in mind that we must pay not only for the construction of the road but must pay for the plowing and ongoing maintenance and eventual replacement of that road.

    This is how government does it to you.

    This is how you end up with some of the highest taxes in the county.

  3. And we PAY for the nitwits that constantly run around “looking” for pies to get their fingers into.

  4. Cal, this is the third story about Gottemuller asking about big, expensive road projects.

    I am curious what percent of his questions actually went to big, expensive road projects and what percent to other topics concerning the county’s budget and operations?

    I am also curious to know if Gottemuller revealed his own inclination towards these projects.

    It’s one thing to ask potential appointees how they would make important decisions; it’s quite another to look explicitly for allies for your own favored projects, to be winking and nudging about a quid quo pro for appointment.

  5. “I don’t know the facts, so I can’t give you an answer,” [Cameron Hubbard] said.

    Way to do your homework, Cameron.

    Who would have thought that you’d have to have a basic understanding of the biggest issues facing the county board to get an appointment to the county board.

    What happened to the good old days when a wink, smile, and letter of recommendation from Tryon would get you the your birth-right cushy gig?

  6. @rawdogger- none of the answers were particularly informed- at least Hubbard admitted he didn’t have enough data to make a sound recommendation.

    This county needs access to the interstate- We have NONE.

    We will be beat by Kane county in future growth and development from a manufacturing and industrial space.

    You can’t complain about the high taxes and be adamantly anti-business at the same time.

    We are the sixth most populous county in the state and Have virtually no interstate access.

    It is insane to not want this project.


  7. Why do we need an interstate connection on the southwest part of our county

    it’s away from the major population areas and last time I looked it’s agricultural area

    nobody’s going to run the toll road anyway going to Rockford will take route 20 so it’s just kind of a foolish enterprise to put in an intersection like that

  8. The most cost effective time to put in a Route 23 / I-90 interchange was when I-90 was recently widened at that intersection.

    They didn’t have the money then to put in an interchange so where are they going to find the money now?

    Have never seen Genoa Road or Route 20 I-90 interchanges that backed up, so there doesn’t seem to be a huge traffic demand right now.

    There is plenty of undeveloped land around the Genoa Road, Route 20, & Route 47 interchanges, with Genoa Road being to the west and Route 20 & Route 47 interchanges being to the east of the potential Route 23 interchange.

    There’s not enough economic demand at Route 176 & 47 for development without a TIF yet there is demand for development at Route 23 & I-90 with an interchange?

    How about a restriction if the interchange is built none of the surrounding land for x miles will be placed in a TIF district?

    Why should taxpayers pay for an interchange only to have the surrounding land be declared blighted.

    Route 23 over I-90 is not that heavily traveled.

    This would be a build it and they will come project.

    Maybe someone will research who owns all the parcels of land surrounding the current Route 23 overpass over I-90.

    And just looking at the parcel ownership data doesn’t reveal who may have an investment interest in the property, with Dennis Hastert being an example.

    Someday an interchange would presumably be justified as it’s an intersection of State Road and Tollway in a collar county, but show us the math.

  9. 23, 90, and 20 form two triangles with 20 the hypnosis.

    Wouldn’t driving the shortest route 20 make the most sense?

    If installed, Comercial at the ramp would work, but houses not so much financially speaking.

  10. Let’s turn 14 into a limited access Skyway like India has, Lake Co to Wis border.

    To ugly?

    Then how about a tunnel?

    McHenry counties Big Dig.


  11. “This county needs access to the interstate- We have NONE.”

    Why is it an imperative growth concern that we have an interstate on-ramp within the geographic boundaries of the county?

    What is wrong with the Kane County on-ramps at Route 31, Randall Road, and Route 47?

  12. Because site selectors for companies that aren’t retail consider access to the interstate when making decision- to move freight and to move people.

    You build roads before the need, not after the land is developed.

    Think the office corridor on Lake Cook Rd and 41.

    It will cost more later when we as a county lose opportunities for growth to Kane County.

    You want to leave the future of economic growth in the hands of Kane County?

    Look at the growth that sprung up in the Kane county portion of Huntley as soon as the offramp was announced.

    You can not cut yourself to prosperity.

    You need to have a greater pro business approach.

    Even Rauner’s plan is based on creating industrial hubs in Illinois.

  13. All this talk about ‘growth’ and more ‘growth’ while anyone who can afford to leave is leaving.

    There is some ‘backfill’ to those who are leaving but the level of income for the ‘backfillers’ is anywhere from ten to twenty percent less then those who are leaving.

    How about some talk about reducing the tax burden through efficiency and elimination of social welfare spending on illegal aliens?

  14. @inish: When you phrase it like that–that the only purpose of building the interchange is to attract industry to the immediate area–it seems like a blatant handout to landowners in the area.

  15. Motorola’s locating in Harvard pretty much gives the lie to needed an interstate exchange to attract business.

  16. Not exactly. It is proof why we need it.

    It can’t be sold for that reason.

    It was built on a personal agenda.

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