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Daily Herald: Longmeadow Parkway foes demand answers from Carpentersville

The Daily Herald printed a front page article last week about public comments made at the last Carpentersville Village meeting on Jun 16th.  Thank you to reporter Lauren Rohr for writing a fair article!

You can view the article here, or read the text below.


Village President Ed Ritter says there is little opposition in Carpentersville because only a few people have signs in their yard.

Village President Ed Ritter says there is little opposition in Carpentersville because only a few people have signs in their yard.

Steve Berry, who lives on Bolz Road in Carpentersville, wants answers.

Berry and his neighbors worry about the impact of the Longmeadow Parkway, a toll road planned to be constructed parallel to their street.

"Our homes are in jeopardy," Berry said. "We're going to be stuck with the noise, dirt, pollution and everything else."

He added that some neighbors have even heard that their homes will be bought out, but nobody from local government has addressed these concerns, he told Carpentersville trustees Tuesday night.

"We're afraid. Put yourselves into our situations and not being told what's going to happen," Berry said. "I want answers. I want to know what's going to happen to my house."

Residents of the area have been arguing for years both in support and opposition of the proposed $135 million Longmeadow Parkway project, which has been 20 years in the making.

Trustee Patricia Schultz said she continually hears that very few Bolz Road residents have a problem with the bridge, when, in reality, most are opposed to the project.

"There are maybe a handful that support the bridge, but many do not," she said.

The concern extends beyond Bolz Road homeowners. Dundee Township resident Mary Hausner said she represents many neighbors who are unable to attend the village board meetings, many of whom, she added, are unaware of the Longmeadow Parkway.

"There should be more public notices," she said. "I shouldn't be the one who comes to their door and tells them they're going to build a bridge here."

Additionally, Hausner said, local municipalities have not explained the need for such an expensive bridge.

Meg Harris, of Dundee Township, said the recently completed $33.3 million Western Bypass project, which widened and reconstructed parts of Route 31, has alleviated much of the traffic congestion that had initially been cited as a reason to build the bridge.

"Now I just don't see a need for any bridge in that area," she said.

But Carpentersville Village President Ed Ritter said it is not about current traffic patterns -- it's about future growth.

"People are so afraid to change that they run from growth," Ritter said. "But it comes anyway, and then we're sitting here trying to keep up."

Schultz said she agreed that there is not much of a need for the expansive project.

Carpentersville Village Manager Mark Rooney said a resolution against the project is expected to be considered by the village board at an upcoming meeting.

Residents opposing the bridge have been going to various lengths to be heard, despite Kane County's long-running support of the project. Dundee Township residents voted in April to require adding a question about Longmeadow Parkway to a March 2016 ballot.

Elgin resident Gary Swick told Carpentersville trustees they should not be afraid to publicly oppose the bridge.

Though Hausner opposes the bridge, what she wants most are updates and more information made readily available to the public.

"Please consider the people living close by," Hausner said, "the people living in our county who have to pay for this, and most of all, the people who don't even know."