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Prep work for Routes 31-120 intersection starts

McHENRY – Ahead of planned improvements, utility companies will be out around the Route 120 and Route 31 intersection relocating their equipment.

The work may mean some temporary lane closures scattered over the winter, said Todd Destree, an engineer with HR Green. ComEd has already begun moving its equipment.

Dates have not been set for when construction will start in the spring, but Destree expected to have a better idea once the preconstruction meeting is held later this fall or winter.

Drivers will be encouraged to avoid the area once work starts, he said.

The project includes the widening of Route 120 and Route 31, new traffic signals, resurfacing, sidewalk replacement and streetscaping.

Route 31 will be widened to five lanes from the Route 120 intersection northward, meeting up with where the road currently widens to five lanes just south of McCullom Lake Road, according to city documents.

An additional left-turn lane will be added along Route 120 for traffic turning north onto Route 31.

The $7.2 million project, funded mainly using state and federal dollars, includes a $928,000 state grant for street lighting and streetscape improvements. It required the city to match funds at 20 percent.

Work is expected to be completed in November 2014, Destree said.

The additional lanes will improve safety and remove a traffic bottleneck that leads to severe congestion during peak travel times, according to city documents.

The average daily traffic count for the section of Route 120 where it joins with Route 31 was 32,900 in 2011, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. It is expected to reach 43,000 by 2040.

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