The Stearns Road Bridge over the Fox River opened on Dec. 15. The opening will mean greater access and reduced travel times for those in Kane County and the communities of St. Charles and South Elgin.
The $146.8 million project, which includes $1.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars and $77 million in federal-aid highway funding, is considered the largest infrastructure project in the history of Kane County. The new corridor extends from Randall Road to Stearns Road and includes the main 1,100-ft span over the Fox River.
“This project provides a new connection that will reduce transportation time for many people,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, who attended the opening. “The project was also designed and built to have the least impact on people, wetlands and wildlife.”
With two 12-ft lanes in each direction, separated by a median, the 4.6-mile Stearns Road corridor and new Fox River Bridge establish an east-west traffic corridor linking Rte. 59 on the east with Randall Road on the west. Drivers now will have a way to cross the Fox River along the 5.5 miles between Rte. 64 in downtown St. Charles and State Street in South Elgin.
The new bridge corridor also includes 216 acres of new open space, restored native prairie and improved public access, including 7 miles of new trail and a new bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the Fox River.
Of the $26.6 billion in ARRA funds available nationwide for highways and bridges, Illinois received $936.5 million for 820 projects, of which 391 are under way and 394 are completed.