McHenry's McCullom Lake Road improvements face delay

McHENRY – Improvements to the city of McHenry portion of McCullom Lake Road likely won’t happen until next year, its city administrator said.

But the village of McCullom Lake doesn’t know whether it can wait that long.

“If we wait until 2015, McCullom Lake Road may be a gravel road,” Village President Terry Counley said. “It might be smoother that way.”

Village officials had been having preliminary talks about conducting their improvements at the same time the city of McHenry does its.

The two municipalities won’t be able to combine the projects at this point – something village officials had hoped for to bring the per-block cost down – because the city of McHenry is using federal Surface Transportation Program dollars and the process is too far along, McHenry Public Works Director Jon Schmitt said.

The city of McHenry had originally planned to go out to bid in March, but the design documents are still being worked on and the city is awaiting approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission to build a crosswalk over the railroad track, Village Administrator Derik Morefield said.

Public bidding for the project, which would include McCullom Lake Road from North Orleans Street to the city limits, is now slated for August, Schmitt said.

That would put construction starting perhaps late this year, but more likely during next year’s construction season, Morefield said.

The city’s matching portion has been budgeted for in this year’s draft budget, which has yet to be approved by the McHenry City Council, just in case the project can go sooner, he said.

Whether the village of McCullom Lake can move forward this year depends on whether it receives the grants it has applied for, Counley said.

A raw estimate puts McCullom Lake’s portion of the project at more than $300,000, just for the repaving, he said.

“If the grants don’t come through, it’s not happening,” Counley said.

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