Detour: Interchange, bridges among many road projects finished this year

With the end of construction season comes the end of our weekly Detour column. It will resume next spring when the snow melts, the orange construction cones bloom and the IDOT flaggers awaken from their hibernation.

We’ll wrap up this season with a partial list of road projects that got finished this year, and remind you of some of the projects that will carry forward into 2014.

HUNTLEY INTERCHANGE: The full interchange at Interstate 90 and Route 47 south of Huntley is now open to traffic.

The $61 million project gives Route 47 near Huntley access to both eastbound and westbound traffic on I-90. The project is the first to be finished under the Illinois Toll Highway Authority’s $12 billion “Move Illinois” infrastructure program.

FLEMING ROAD: The long-needed rebuilding of Fleming Road between Route 120 and Country Club Road is done, and open to traffic. Local residents prevailed in a years-long fight with the McHenry County Division of Transportation, which pushed for a $5 million improvement plan that critics said would have destroyed the scenic drive.

JOHNSBURG ROAD: Johnsburg Road has been reopened to two-way traffic between Route 31 and Chapel Hill Road. The improvement created a two-way continuous left lane in the middle of the road between Route 31 and Chapel Hill Road, and a roundabout where Johnsburg Road, St. Johns Avenue and Chapel Hill Road meet.

FOX RIVER GROVE: Metra finished a $3.5 million improvement of the village’s Metra station, which expanded the platform and warming shelters. The project had created delays on eastbound Route 14 because of occasional lane closures.

CHARLES MILLER ROAD: Work finished this year on adding another bridge span to Charles Miller Road over the Fox River, increasing its capacity to four lanes and improving the intersection of Charles Miller and River roads. The next phase of improvements, set to start next spring, will widen Charles Miller Road west to Route 31 and improve the intersection of Charles Miller Road, Bull Valley Road and Route 31.

THE BRIDGES OF McHENRY COUNTY: Two county bridges were rebuilt and reopened in recent months.

Workers replaced the Hill Road Bridge over the north branch of Nippersink Creek. The bridge had been closed since January 2012 because of failing structural elements. The work was supposed to be done last year, but bidding complications pushed it back.

The Lawrence Road bridge over Piscasaw Creek was reopened to traffic as well.

PARK AND RIDE: McHenry County’s first park-and-ride lot opened at Route 31 and Virginia Road in Lake in the Hills. The 105-space lot, which includes a bike rack, gives carpooling residents a place to meet and park rather than using parking lots for shopping centers and other locations.

As for a few projects you will have to deal with through the winter ...

ALGONQUIN WESTERN BYPASS: Watch for workers and delays as workers continue a $33 million project to build a 2-mile, four-lane highway west of downtown Algonquin to relieve congestion on Route 31. Delays could take place on Route 31 and Algonquin Road.

ROUTES 31 AND 120: There could be some scattered lane closures through the winter as utility companies place equipment ahead of construction to start in the spring. The project to start next year will widen both roads and place new traffic signals.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: You can sign up at NWHerald.com/newsletter to get a weekly email update on road projects throughout construction season. You also can find updates online at NWHerald.com/construction.

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