Officials celebrate work on Algonquin bypass

ALGONQUIN – After many years of working behind the scenes, officials this morning celebrated the start of construction on the western bypass with a groundbreaking ceremony.

The $33.3 million project will build more than 2 miles of four-lane highway, including four bridges, west of downtown Algonquin.

The project is being paid for by federal and state money.

The backdrop of the groundbreaking ceremonies were bulldozers moving dirt as they set the path of the new road.

Among those in attendance for the ceremony were Village President John Schmitt, U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Illinois, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, and state Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry.

"Due to a lot of hard work for many years by all the people here today, McHenry County motorists will soon experience relief from the horrific gridlock that has plagued the corner of Routes 31 and 62 in downtown Algonquin for decades," Manzullo said in a news release. "This project has long been my No. 1 priority for McHenry County, and I'm excited to see it finally fulfilled."

– Joseph Bustos