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Prairie Parkway

The Prairie Parkway, also known as the Outer Beltway, is a proposed high-speed, four-lane highway between Interstates 88 and 80. Portions of the Parkway are destined for Kendall County. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) through numerous studies and community forums has narrowed down the location of the parkway to two possible routes.

Agency consultants in addition to trying to locate the best possible route have also been conducting environmental studies along those routes. IDOT consultants hope to complete the studies by the end of this summer. As a result of those studies, a recommendation of which of the two proposed routes may be announced by the end of the year. According to IDOT, federal approval of the project is expected in 2007.

Both routes connect Interstate 88 with Interstate 80, between the United City of Yorkville and Plan. The first route, according to IDOT officials, is a north-south route connecting at I-80 just west of Morris, Illinois. The second proposed route crosses Route 47 in Yorkville just south of Caton Farm Road and connects to I-80 near Minooka. Both routes will result in losses of homes and farm structures. According to IDOT the north-south route will affect 23 homes and structures while the other route will affect 21 major structures. Another nine properties may also be impacted if Route 47 south of Caton Farm Road to I-80 is widened.

According to the Prairie Parkway informational Web site, a public opinion survey conducted by IDOT, showed that 61 percent of respondents in the primary area of the Parkway Preliminary Engineering study believed that growth in the area is inevitable and that roads should be built or improved before traffic problems arise. In the secondary study area, 59 percent of those who responded shared this belief.

Primary cities that may be affected by the Parkway include Channahon, Minooka, Montgomery, Morris, Aurora, Big Rock, Oswego, Plano, Sandwich, Shorewood, Sugar Grove and Yorkville. Secondary cities that may be affected include DeKalb, Elburn, St. Charles, Batavia, Marseilles, North Aurora, Plainfield, Somonauk and Wilmington.