BULL VALLEY – Fleming Road, a scenic drive and monument to the fact that you can in fact fight city hall, will be getting its long-overdue repairs starting next month.
Work is set to begin June 3 to rehabilitate the 2 1/2-mile stretch of road connecting Route 120 and Country Club Road. It will rebuild the road in its existing footprint, saving its centuries-old trees, rolling hills and daffodil beds from destruction that residents said would have happened under the county’s original construction plans.
The plan, hashed out last year, uses a technique called cold in-place recycling, which grinds up the old road and part of the roadbed and uses the ground-up material to lay down the new one. The project, scheduled to coincide with summer break for local schools, is set to be finished by the end of July, weather permitting.
Fleming Road will be closed to through traffic, and a posted detour will reroute drivers through Woodstock along Routes 120, 47 and 14.
A one-hour informational meeting on the project is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the county Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock.
Electronic message signs already have been placed at both ends of Fleming Road warning of the upcoming work.
The aging road, first paved in 1966, is filled with potholes and is rapidly decaying, and the McHenry County Division of Transportation announced in 2010 its intention to rebuild it.
But residents were shocked at the original plans, which would have almost doubled the road’s footprint, and in residents’ eyes, taken a lot of the scenery with it.
While concerned citizens accepted invitations to be involved with the project’s development, they said they quickly grew frustrated because engineers kept coming back with minor tweaks to the same plan.
Besides a public relations campaign, at least 20 property owners secured three-way conservation easements that would have meant a protracted fight for the county with homeowners, the village of Bull Valley and The Land Conservancy of McHenry County to acquire the needed right of way.
A solution presented itself in spring 2012 when the Illinois Department of Transportation approved the rules that now allow local government road authorities to use cold in-place recycling.
That approval came just months after McHenry County Board members told the county DOT in no uncertain terms to heed residents’ wishes and rebuild the road in its existing footprint.
The County Board in March voted, 22-0, to approve the rehabilitation plan and award the $830,000 bid to Crystal Lake-based Curran Contracting Co. The cost includes a 20 percent cushion for unforeseen circumstances – the work itself adds up to slightly more than $690,000.
If you go
Fleming Road construction informational meeting
When: 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14
Where: McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock
On the Net
You can learn more about the Fleming Road reconstruction project at www.flemingroad.info.