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Work ahead at key McHenry junction

McHENRY – A busy intersection identified as a “high accident location” will be revamped, beginning soon after bids go out in April, officials said.

Work to improve the intersection of Routes 31 and 120 includes additional lanes, new traffic signals, resurfacing and streetscaping, and likely will be finished by summer 2014.

Route 31 will be widened to five lanes from the Route 120 intersection northward, mating up with the existing fives lanes at McHenry Plaza, which contains Target and Applebee’s.

Route 120 will be improved, too, from about 1,100 feet west of Route 31 to Green Street. Plans call for dual left-turn lanes from eastbound 120 onto northbound Route 31.

The $7.6 million project, funded mainly by the Illinois Department of Transportation, includes a $928,000 state grant for street lighting and streetscape improvements. It required the city to match funds at 20 percent.

Planning began in 2006, said Jon Schmitt, city director of public works.

The additional lanes will improve safety and remove a traffic bottleneck that leads to severe congestion every day in peak travel times, Schmitt told the City Council in a memo.

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