ELBURN – Village officials said the extension of Anderson Road, including the bridge over the Union Pacific train tracks, generated a great deal of interest from residents almost immediately after opening.
Trustees and officials at Monday's Elburn Village Board meeting reported that people were pleased that the road is open, but there were questions and concerns about safety.
They wanted to know why guard rails are in place at the top of the bridge, but not in the area leading up to the bridge on either side. They asked about the lack of street lights. Could there be signage to alert drivers that there no longer is a stop sign at the intersection of Prairie Valley Street, since Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School sits at that intersection?
"It has a high visibility. … It's a topic of conversation," Elburn Trustee Pat Schuberg said of the project. "We are all hearing about it."
"I am just amazed at how many people reached out to me with comments," Trustee Bill Grabarek said.
Trustees and village officials pointed out that the road, for the first year, is under the control of Kane County. After the first year, Anderson Road will come under Elburn's control. However, Elburn officials say they are collecting concerns and having discussions with those who can provide answers.
"It's a beautiful road," said John Nevenhoven, the village's public works director. "But it's not our road for a year."
Elburn Village Administrator Erin Willrett said the road was designed to specifications and meets standards. She acknowledged the safety questions and said, "We are working together to express concerns."
Village President Dave Anderson said he was asked about why there isn't a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Anderson and Route 38.
"It was not funded because it was not a required part of the project," Willrett said.
Steve Coffinbarger, the Kane County assistant director of transportation, said Wednesday that the county's department of transportation has been working with the village for many years on the improvement.
"Our staff is aware of many of the concerns," Coffinbarger said.
Coffinbarger said that there would be an additional cost for items not already included in the contract plans. As to who would pay for any changes, he said it "depends on what the item is and who is requesting it, those sorts of things." He added that "it's yet to be determined if anything is going to be added to the plan."
Some questions can be answered. Willrett said there are street lights that are not yet active because they are not connected to electricity yet. She said the electricity will be connected in time, as the Shodeen company begins construction on its development set in the area.
As for the safety of cars approaching the bridge, Coffinbarger said there is a curb along the side of the road, and "if cars were to encounter that, they would be directed back to the pavement."
"Since it's a concern, it's something we'll consider," Coffinbarger said of the potential of extending guard rails at some point.
Anderson said for many, it will be a matter of becoming familiar with the road.
"It's a change of something that people aren't used to," he said, adding "all of us hate changes until we get used to them."