Eldamain Road Bridge Project Expected to Boost Business Growth in Yorkville, Plano – Shaw Local

Editor’s note: Here’s the second in a series of three stories on the Eldamain Road bridge project that spans the Fox River between Yorkville and Plano. Look for the first part of the Make No Small Plans series here on KendallCountyNow.com and the third part, Building the Bridge, coming soon. This story, “Making Connections,” focuses on the transportation connections that will be established by the bridge.

Kendall County’s Eldamain Road Bridge Project is more than just a bridge.

When completed, the bridge and connecting roads will create a new 3.5-mile north-south corridor that will create additional connections for motorists.

The new river crossing is located about halfway between the Route 47 bridge in downtown Yorkville and the Fox River Drive bridge just south of Plano, a distance of five miles.

The $35 million project stretches from River Road just north of the Fox River to Route 71 and south along West High Point Road.

At the southern end of the project, drawings are displayed that show a future extension of Lisbon Road connecting with Walker Road to the south, but there are no immediate plans to carry out the extension.

The key link created by the bridge will be from US Route 34 to Illinois Route 71, two of Kendall County’s main east-west thoroughfares.

To the north, the existing Eldamain Road extends all the way to Kane County.

Eldamain Road is the boundary line between Plano and Yorkville. Both municipalities see the road as an engine of economic development.

On the Yorkville side, a giant greenhouse lettuce farm on Corneils Road has already been approved, while Plano is moving forward with plans for a major gas station and convenience store development on Route 34.

Yorkville officials are working on a plan to extend the sanitary sewer to the lettuce farm development. The sewer line will be designed to serve other businesses the city hopes to attract to the Eldamain corridor.

Another benefit of the bridge project will be diverting heavy truck traffic off Route 47, which can be more than a little troublesome for drivers in downtown Yorkville.

Motorists traveling on the Eldamain Road extension will find themselves on a wide-open, two-lane road, with the lanes separated by an 18-foot-wide median with concrete curbs. On the outside, there will be a wide shoulder and an open drainage system.

The extension will intersect with Fox Road, just north of the railroad tracks, at a point where the east-west road runs a short distance along the north-south axis, connecting with West High Point Road to the south.

Instead of a conventional intersection, the connection of Eldamain and Fox roads will be a roundabout.

Also known as roundabouts, roundabouts allow traffic to flow in one direction around a central island, increasing safety and eliminating the need for a traffic signal.

Initially, the roundabout at Eldamain and Fox roads will have three legs, on the north, south and west sides. An eastern leg may be added later.

The connections that will be created by the bridge will serve more than vehicular traffic.

There will be a 10-foot-wide bicycle lane on the east side of the bridge, separated from the motor vehicle lanes by a concrete parapet wall.

On the other side of the bike lane, running along the edge of the bridge, an attractive galvanized steel railing will be located. Cyclists will be treated to spectacular views of the Fox River and surrounding forest reserves.

The bike trail will provide connections to the Hoover, Fox River Bluffs and Subat Forest Preserves. At the southern end of the section, the trail will take a loop under the bridge to access the Fox River Bluffs Preserve.

Inside the concrete wall separating the car lanes from the bike lane will be another connection, but with a high-tech look to the future.

Workers are installing conduits that will allow for easy installation of broadband fiber optic cables for the Internet and other communications providers.

The cycle path along the east side of the Elamain Road bridge is flanked by galvanized steel railing on the right and what will be a concrete parapet wall on the left separating the cycle path from motor vehicle traffic.  At the bottom of the steel wall frame there is a conduit for fiber optic cable.  (Mark Foster -- mfoster@shawmedia.com)

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