Prairie Parkway Updates

The Prairie Parkway, also known as the Outer Beltway, is a proposed high-speed, 4-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 2 possible routes.

Possible Routes
Both routes connect Interstate 88 with Interstate 80, between the United City of Yorkville and Plan, and both will result in losses of homes and farm structures.

1st Route
The 1st route, according to IDOT officials, is a north-south route connecting at I-80 just west of Morris, Illinois.
The north-south route will affect 23 homes and structures.

2nd Route
The 2nd proposed route crosses Route 47 in Yorkville just south of Caton Farm Road and connects to I-80 near Minooka. According to IDOT, this route will affect 21 major structures.

Other Route Impacts
Another 9 properties may also be impacted if Route 47 south of Caton Farm Road to I-80 is widened.

Environmental Studies
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 2 proposed routes may be announced by the end of the year. According to IDOT, federal approval of the project is expected in 2007.

Public Opinion
According to the Prairie Parkway informational website, a public opinion survey conducted by IDOT, showed that 61% 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% of those who responded shared this belief.

Affected Cities
Primary cities that may be affected by the Parkway include:
  • Aurora
  • Big Rock
  • Channahon
  • Minooka
  • Montgomery
  • Morris
  • Oswego
  • Plano
  • Sandwich
  • Shorewood
  • Sugar Grove
  • Yorkville

Secondary cities that may be affected include:
  • Batavia
  • DeKalb
  • Elburn
  • St. Charles
  • Marseilles
  • North Aurora
  • Plainfield
  • Somonauk
  • Wilmington