State Budget Impasse Could Damage Progress On Winnebago County Roads

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Several trucks can be seen driving on the intersection of Baxter and Lindenwood Road throughout the day. It’s an intersection on the outskirts of Rockford that leads to the Winnebago County landfill. The county wants to make it wider to make it easier for trucks to access the landfill, but that may never come.

“We have become I think somewhat calloused to what’s happening in Springfield,” said Winnebago County Board Member Jim Webster. “For three years we have been hearing this in the news everyday about how these people down in Springfield are so lame, they can’t get along, and they can’t get a budget presented to us,” Webster added.

Webster says Baxter and Lindenwood Road are a moneymaker. Companies send trucks to the landfill to dump their trash. However, if they can’t keep the road clean and safe, the county could lose up to 3 million dollars every year.

“If that road is in such a state there or can’t be done in a timely fashion, we’ll then these trucks will just go right down the road and go to a neighboring landfill,” Webster said. 

The continued Illinois budget impasse could affect that project as well as nine others in the county.  The county is relying on nearly 4 million dollars from the state to make the 10 road projects a reality.
Winnebago County Engineer Joe Vanderwerff suggests that the county board should prepare for the worst possible scenario.

“We need to have all of our funds available that are in our accounts to make sure that we can get through this winter season with snow plowing and salt,” Vanderwerff said.

Both Vanderwerff and Webster are simply hoping compromise can happen in Springfield. They say issues  that happen at the capitol trickle down to the stateline area. “I’m just frustrated on behalf of the residents of Winnebago County that we have to go through this,” Vanderwerff said. “It’s just unfortunate, but we’re very hopeful to get a budget passed,” he added.

A list of the other nine projects that could be halted if no budget is passed by June 30th can be seen below.

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ALL INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED BY THE WINNEBAGO COUNTY HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

1.- Buckbee Creek Improvements- Meant to improve drainage and construction of a detention pond along Buckbee Creek near the intersection of Wellworth and Wentworth Streets.

2.-Columbine Improvements- Improvements to a finger of Madigan Creek that runs along Columbine Road in the Mulford Woods subdivision.

3.-DeGarmo Trial Head- A snow mobile trail head at the northeast corner of the intersection of Hoisington Road with US 20 allowing snowmobilers access to the US 20 underpass at that location to safely cross US 20. 

4.- Meridian Bridge Repairs- Needed structural improvements to the Meridian Road Bridge over the Pecatonica River

5.- Riverside/Forest Hills/Alpine Project Development Report- Development of Project Report to receive funding for the improvement of the two intersections.

6.- Riverside and Forest Hills Joint Patching- Pavement maintenance

7.- Signage Safety Project- Placement of chevrons at curves on the county highway system to improve safety.

8.- Sumner Bridge- Pecatonica Township bridge replacement.

9.-Weldon Bridge- Winnebago Township bridge replacement.

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