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Businesses Preparing for Route 47 Construction

IDOT hopes to start construction on the widening of Illinois Route 47, as it passes through downtown Yorkville, later this year. Businesses in the downtown need to prepare for two-and-a-half messy years.

Business owners in downtown Yorkville will have to contend with dust, noise and a steady barrage of construction vehicles late this year if the Illinois Department of Transportation's planned widening of Route 47 through the city is approved as expected.

But the head of the local chamber of commerce said that while doing business through major roadwork is never an easy task, the long-term impact of the roadway improvement project will serve as a boon to the business owners in downtown Yorkville.

Dave Broviak, studies and plans engineer for District 3 of IDOT, said that the state department of transportion will put the project out to bid later this year, after the state in April approves IDOT's annual program of roadwork.

Assuming that the Route 47 work is approved, which it is expected to be, construction on the road should start in late 2011. This project also could include along this stretch, if voters approve a April 5 for the city to cover 20 percent of the trails' cost.

Road construction will cover a 3.47-mile stretch of Route 47 from just north of Illinois Route 71 to Kennedy Drive, Broviak said. The construction is expected to take 2.5 years.

Sherri Farley, executive director of the , said that the road construction -- which IDOT estimates will take two-and-a-half years to complete -- will make life difficult for the businesses operating in downtown Yorkville. But she also said that she's confident that a widened Route 47 will be a positive for the city's downtown business district in the future.

"Any time you have a major road project in your downtown, there are concerns," Farley said. "You have concerns about lane closures, traffic flow and access to the businesses. But in the long run, this will be a positive. It will make it easier to get from the north side of town to the south side of town."

"In the long run, I see a lot of excitement for downtown Yorkville," Farley continued. "An expanded Route 47 is part of that excitement."

During the project, construction crews will rework Route 47 so that it will have two lanes in each direction as it moves through downtown Yorkville. Crews will also add turning lanes in some areas.

Traffic signals will receive upgrades, and crews will add curbs and gutters to improve drainage along the road.

Broviak said that though construction on this project has yet to start that IDOT has been acquiring property along the construction zone for right-of-way purposes. The department is also working with public utilities so that they can plan where to locate their utility equipment along the newly expanded Route 47.

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