Gov. Pat Quinn made official Thursday what the city of McHenry has known for months – a $7.2 million project to improve a stretch of Routes 120 and 31 is coming this spring.
Quinn’s office announced the project’s green lighting under the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan. The project will improve Route 120 from its western intersection with Route 31 to Green Street, and Route 31 from Route 120 north to McCullom Lake Road.
Plans call for the widening of both routes, improving traffic signals and street lighting and landscape improvements. Route 31 just north of Route 120 and their eastern intersection are prone to congestion during peak travel times.
Route 31 will be widened to five lanes from Route 120 northward to about 400 feet south of the McCullom Lake Road intersection, where Route 31 already is five lanes. Another left-turn lane will be added onto Route 120 to accommodate northbound traffic.
Utility companies in recent weeks have begun relocating their fixed equipment around Routes 120 and 31 in anticipation of next spring’s work. The project is scheduled to be finished by November 2014, weather permitting.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is managing the project, and Alliance Contractors Inc. of Woodstock was the lowest of four bidders for the job. State and federal funds are paying for the project, and the city obtained a $928,000 state grant, which required a 20 percent local match, for street lighting and streetscape improvements.
The average daily traffic count for the stretch of Route 120 that is joined with Route 31 was 32,900 in 2011, according to IDOT data.
Work also will continue next year in McHenry on a widening of Charles Miller Road between Route 31 and River Road. Workers this year built a second bridge across the Fox River, doubling the road’s capacity over the river to four lanes.
Elsewhere on Route 31, work is ongoing on improvements to its intersection with Route 176, and work will continue next year on the Algonquin Western Bypass.