Our view: Prepare for construction season
Spring is here to stay, and the orange construction barrels and detour signs once again have sprouted around the area with the dandelions. Many of the major arterial roads in the area will require some kind of maintenance this season.
There’s the ongoing widening of Rakow/Randall Road from Route 31 to Ackman Road. Many Metra commuters who use the Pingree Road station in Crystal Lake will have to take a roundabout route while Pingree Road is closed from Congress Parkway to the railroad tracks.
Walkup Road is being widened and improved around Route 176, and more than 8 miles of Route 47 is being resurfaced between Woodstock and Hebron, and south of Route 176 near Huntley.
Route 31 is being widened between Virginia and Klasen roads near Algonquin, and interstate highways around Illinois also will be under construction this year.
All of these projects will make area roads easier to navigate and capable of accommodating more drivers, making life more convenient for motorists. In the future, anyway.
This summer, the construction work will make getting around a real drag. There will be detours and new traffic patterns. There will be uncomfortable minutes spent idling in traffic.
The best that drivers can do is to plan ahead. Find alternate routes to avoid congested work zones. If there’s no getting around them, leave early to compensate for the extra time spent in traffic. Most importantly, be alert for the workers on the side of the road and obey posted speed limits. Speeding in a construction zone is a $375 fine. A 2-year-old law also prohibits talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving in a construction zone, an infraction that can earn you a $75 ticket.
The road projects now under way – or soon to begin – will make travel easier in the future. Until they’re finished, though, we all have to be patient and plan ahead.