Last night Mayor Sandack announced the Belmont Underpass Plan B, where he and AVM Fieldman and VA Petrarca will try and assemble area elected officials from the IL house and senate (Dillard Pihos, Bellock, maybe others), county officials (Schillerstrom and staff, and maybe our county board members from 2&3), as well as officials and staff from IDOT to try and hash out the extra $8.5 million needed to start construction on the Belmont Underpass.
We have some things working for us.
IDOT has projects that have been funded, but are nowhere ready to begin for one reason or another. Ours was that way for a couple years-funded but not ready to begin-as the village worked it’s way through property issues that are now done and over. There is also precedent for projects like the BU being put into motion without the Illinois Works bill, such as the CREATE project in southwest Cook County.
DG crashed the boards hard down in Springfield with a concerted lobbying effort, so everyone knows about it. Where other projects are still in planning, we are ready to put shovels in the dirt, and that is important to IDOT. They know they need to be building, not just setting aside money for future use, and they are looking for best use of current funds. Other current area IDOT projects are listed here. With a little help from each participant, and a little knock on wood for luck, DG may still see this get going this year.
Staff is chomping, elected officials are chomping, and after the effort put in so far, there is an “all in” attitude to try and get it going. Sandack said he would report back next week on the outcome. Everyone think positive. Go Ron, bring it home!
Belmont sees almost 20,000 cars and trucks cross the tracks each and every day (source IDOT). The benefits of this grade separation cannot be overstated.