At long last, the full access interchange at I-88 and Route 47 is finally open.
Citing partnership between the Illinois Tollway, the village of Sugar Grove, Kane County and the Illinois Department of Transportation, officials officially opened the new entrance and exit ramps on Tuesday.
Leaders in government, business and education held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Waubonsee Community College.
Jose Alvarez, the executive director of the Illinois Tollway, said the project is a long time in the making.
“This is a great day for Sugar Grove and for Kane County,” he said. “We, at the Tollway, are excited about today. I know you’ve been waiting for decades for this work to be finished.”
The interchange’s construction, now substantially complete, is price tagged at $25 million.
The project consists of 3 new ramps, 2 improved ramps and rehabilitation to the Route 47 bridge.
Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said the village can now put to rest questions asking why the ramps weren’t built when I-88 was originally constructed.
“After today, it’ll just be a footnote in the history books,” he said.
Michels credited the work of village staff for keeping the project at the forefront of the village board over the last 15 years.
Officials believe the project will help stimulate the economy not only in Sugar Grove but also across the region.
The interchange is estimated to improve the travel of more than 3,000 vehicles per day, officials said.
“We, at the Tollway, [believe] this is another way of us showing that we are going to keep our commitment to deliver the different investments we committed to under the Move Illinois Program,” Alvarez said.
Will Evans, the chairman of the Board of Directors for Illinois Tollway, touted partnerships for enabling the project to move forward.
“I thank Sugar Grove and Kane County for working with IDOT and the Tollway in an innovative way to fund and deliver this project,” he said. “This is a project that puts Illinois residents and Illinois businesses first. It is a great template that others can follow to work [toward] local infrastructure projects.”
Chris Lauzen, the chairman of the Kane County Board, shared that sentiment.
“It is, as it’s been said before and as we all recognize, how all successful projects get done with everybody working together,” he said.