Miles to go . . . before area road construction culminates
By Mike Danahey and Steve Lord email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org September 27, 2013 7:30PM
Elgin, 9/26/13--Traffic can get heavy at certain times of the day on I-90 west of Route 25. | Jon Langham/For Sun-Times Media
Other road projects in area
The largest project in Elgin would be traffic signal upgrades and interchange reconstruction of Route 20 and McLean Boulevard and the bridge carrying Route 20 over McLean. This project is not expected to be finished until September 2014 at a cost of $34.731 million.
On the north edge of Elgin, removal and replacement of the bridge deck of Route 31 over Metra tracks, along with other repairs, putting in new traffic signals and striping is expected to be done in November. The project cost $2.696 million.
The intersection of Route 72 and Randall Road and the border of Elgin and Dundee Township is undergoing 1.2 miles worth of improvements and signal upgrades on all four of its legs. The work should be done by the end of October at a cost of $4.425 million. At Randall and Big Timber roads workers have been putting in an additional eastbound right turn lane and new traffic signals. Work on the $817,000 project is set to wind up in December.
The Union and Sheridan street rehabilitation and sewer separation in Elgin will be wrapping up by end of October at of a cost of approximately $5 million.
A $3 million, Hammond/Cookane street rehabilitation project in Elgin should be finished around Thanksgiving time. Also set to be done by late fall are $1.5 million neighborhood resurfacing and street maintenance work around Lords Park and in Lords Park, $4.5 in streetscape work downtown, and $500,000 in maintenance and repair work on the bridges across the Fox River in downtown Elgin.
Due in late fall is the unveiling of the highly anticipated, long in the works Riverside Promenade project.
In 2009, Elgin was awarded River’s Edge Redevelopment Zone funding from the State of Illinois in the amount of $8 million and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity funding in the amount of $1 million. The city contributed another $1.5 million to the $10.5 million project. IHC Construction Companies was selected by the city in 2012 to be the construction management firm for the project. The area is designed to handle cars, offer pedestrians a river walk, and provide restaurants a chance of offer outdoor service.
In Carpentersville, crews are busy on Maple Avenue from Washington Street and eventually all the way to L.W, Besinger Drive. Work includes pavement reconstruction, storm sewer, water main and sanitary sewer replacement, new street lighting and an asphalt pedestrian path. The current phase of the he $7.218 million project is expected to be finished this November and all the work completed sometime next summer.
Another Carpentersville project using money from IDOT is happening on Tulsa Avenue from Lake Marion Road to Kings Road and along Kings Road from Williams Road to Route 25. It includes surface removal, patching, resurfacing and sidewalks work. The $508,000 effort is expected to be done in October.
In East Dundee, extensive work on Van Buren Street from Route 72 to William Street, and on Elgin Avenue from Barrington Road to the south corporate limits of the village includes redoing the street and installing water main, storm sewers, drainage structures, and combination curbs and gutters. The $2.578 million project is expected to end in November.
In Plato and Rutland townships, a $1.212 million resurfacing of Route 47 from Plato Road to Route 20/Route 72 should wrap up in November.
In Sleepy Hollow, $120,000 in money from IDOT is being used to build a bicycle path along Sleepy Hollow Road from the Dundee Township Bird Sanctuary Trailhead to Sleepy Hollow Village Hall. Work should end in December.
In South Elgin, the McLean Fen project using $1.146 million in money from IDOT is supposed to be done by the end of this month. The project consists of grading, constructing a driveway and parking lot, installing a nature trail and boardwalk, seeding, planting and erosion control. The fen is located west of the intersection of McLean Boulevard and Stearns Road.
In West Dundee, work along or near the intersection of Routes 31 and 72 is using $2.966 million in IDOT funding and should end in December. The improvements include road resurfacing, sidewalk, and traffic signal work.
In McHenry County, Algonquin is in the midst of the $33.346 million construction of 2.11 miles of a four-lane divided highway, diamond interchange, four new bridges, retaining walls and noise abatement walls for the Route 31 western bypass, which will take drivers from the south side of Algonquin to Crystal Lake over Algonquin Road and back to 31. Work is expected to be finished early next fall.
In Lake in the Hills, $579,000 in IDOT funding is being used to construct a Park & Ride Lot off Virginia Road at Route 31, with that work expected to wind up by the end of this month.
On the far south end of Naperville, work continues on the 95th Street bridge extension project. The noise abatement wall on the south side of 95th Street has been completed. When finished, the project will have included a total of seven noise abatement walls. They are being funded jointly by Will County and Naperville to help shield adjacent subdivisions from the roadway. Bolingbrook is also part of the project, which is expected to be finished in late 2014.
Work continues on another IDOT project, widening and resurfacing of Route 34 in Plano, from Eldamain Road into town, including the bridge over Blackberry Creek. That project will continue into the fall and will be completed sometime next year.
The state also is working on Route 71 on the west side of Oswego.
Updated: October 30, 2013 6:26AM
Just how scarily imposing is local road construction and related snarled traffic?
Toni Lumm-Sebastian of Woodstock summed up the frustration of many Fox Valley drivers when she described the situation in West Dundee.
“The merge to the left lane on Route 72 by Route 31 really stinks,” she said. “And to top that off, they have all of the side streets (marked with) signs that say ‘No Thru Traffic’. Really? So it’s better to have a backup on 72, instead of keeping the traffic moving?”
Fellow motorist Alice Moring of Elgin battles a similar predicament in neighboring East Dundee
“Every day I drive Elgin Lane/Duncan Avenue North from Elgin, past Hagaer Potteries (in East Dundee) through the never-ending paving,” Moring said. “I always wonder if I’ll be allowed to pass through or be rerouted. The horror story part is that when I got to work today, I found a hook hand dangling from my door handle.”
Robert Costello of West Dundee said, “I was driving back home on I-90 at about 3-4 mph when I drove through an underpass and saw a construction worker putting the last brick in a wall, behind which was a commuter who had violated the law by using a cell phone in a construction area.”
Okay. Moring and Costello made up the spooky parts. But the above stories do point to three of the bigger construction efforts happening in the Fox Valley and other areas of the north and west suburbs, where there are myriad projects still underway.
Of course, biggest of them all is work along I-90, where the Illinois Tollway Authority is in the midst of a 12-year, $15 billion undertaking.
According to the ITA website, seven crossroad bridges over I-90 from near the Wisconsin border to the Elgin area currently are closed for demolition and reconstruction through the end of 2013.
Also expected to be done late this year is putting in an all-electronic interchange at Route 47 and I-90 in Huntley.
A $2.2 billion rebuilding and widening project on 1-90 now has crews rebuilding eastbound lanes between Rockford and Elgin and should be finished by the end of 2013. Work on westbound lanes will commence in 2014 and the part of I-90 from Chicago to Elgin is scheduled for 2014-2016.
A Sept. 25 ITA online update noted “eastbound traffic between Randall Road and the Elgin Toll Plaza currently is reduced from three lanes to two lanes through October. Traffic entering eastbound I-90 from Randall Road must yield and merge with mainline traffic during this construction phase.”
At the Elgin border with Sleepy Hollow, North McLean Boulevard/Sleepy Hollow Road at I-90 is now closed through Oct. 25, weather permitting, in work tied to the Tollway project.
The Tollway completed work will have three lanes in each direction between Elgin and Rockford, with the inside lane and shoulder in both directions widened to provide accommodations for “future transit opportunities,” which could mean road space set aside for buses or vehicles carrying more than one person.
If that weren’t enough roadwork, video gaming machines being installed in bars, restaurants and truck stops across Illinois since late 2012 means money for the state’s $31 billion capital improvement plans is finally trickling in, helping projects move ahead.
Elgin City Engineer Joe Evers noted that federal stimulus package money that goes to shovel-ready projects also has something to do with the volume of work underway — the most intense amount he can recall during his 25 years in the area.
Either, way there’s plenty of evidence of such funding still being spent in the area.
Meanwhile, drivers in and around Naperville and Aurora are encountering construction on the outskirts and right through the middle of town.
One of the biggest projects still going on through the fall until halted for winter is the resurfacing of Route 59, which at points is the border between Naperville and Aurora.
As of last week, contractors were still working on the pre-stages of construction, which includes installing temporary signals, removing medians and building temporary pavement, according to Allison Albrecht, communications specialist in the city manager’s office.
Another big project, right in the center of Naperville, is repairs on Washington Street from School Street, in front of Washington Middle School, to Osler Road, on the south side of the Edward Hospital campus. That takes drivers right through the heart of downtown Naperville.
Recently contractors removed and replaced curb in sections of both the east and west side of Washington.
The contractor also continued to grind concrete near Osler Drive. Crews are removing lanes of traffic as needed to perform the repairs and portions of sidewalks are being closed along the project length.
The project includes resurfacing and re-striping of Washington, as well as improvements to deteriorated curbs and sidewalks for the benefit of pedestrians. City officials said the work is expected to be complete in mid-October.
Kane and Kendall
The biggest projects on the south end of the county, the four-lane widening of Orchard Road between Montgomery Road and Route 30, finished earlier this year.
Work continues on Fabyan Parkway, from Route 25 to Nagle Boulevard, which includes resurfacing, curb replacement and sidewalks. Work also is due to start yet this fall on resurfacing the Fabyan Parkway bridge over the Fox River.
Kendall County this year, as in the next several years to come, has construction underway on all the major state highways that cut through the county. All will continue into the fall.
The largest project is the widening to four lanes of Route 47 through Yorkville. The 2 ½-year project so far has focused mostly on the section between the Fox River downtown and Route 126 on the south side.
For most of the summer, the state highway has been down to one lane in each direction, with much of the roadway torn up. The contractor for the Illinois Department of Transportation project is about to start on the next phase of the project.
According to information released by IDOT last week, the contractor “expects to begin the next phase of the project in the coming weeks, from the (Fox River) to Washington Street, with that work including construction of new concrete pavement in the northbound lanes.”
Julie Messina, community liaison for IDOT, District 3, said that as work progresses, motorists will see closures at the different side street intersections affected by the work. Those side streets include Hydraulic, Van Emmon, Fox and Washington.
The contractor will install temporary pavement in some of the areas of the project to accommodate traffic on the west side of Route 47. Curb and gutter, sidewalks and other incidental work will not be done until the concrete pavement.
Messina said that, weather permitting, all that work, from the river to Washington Street, would be done before winter.