With warmer weather here – or at least in theory, anyway – it’s time for the Northwest Herald’s weekly rundown of road projects to resume.
Come Memorial Day weekend, you’ll be able to subscribe to a weekly email newsletter at NWHerald.com to keep you informed of current and upcoming projects.
Let’s start off with the big-ticket projects ...
• ALGONQUIN WESTERN BYPASS: Budget more time if your travels take you through downtown Algonquin on either Route 31 or Algonquin Road/Route 62.
Watch for workers and expect some delays at the bypass’s intersections with Route 31 north and south of downtown, and on Algonquin Road west of downtown as workers build the overpass and its diamond interchange.
Key components of the long-desired $33.3 million project are the building of a 2.1-mile, four-lane highway around downtown to eliminate the infamous rush-hour bottleneck at the intersection of Routes 31 and 62.
• ROUTES 31 AND 120: We’ll be blunt: traveling through the city of McHenry is going to be a mess this summer. Work has started on a $7.2 million project to widen and resurface Route 120 from Front Street to Green Street and Route 31 from Route 120 north to McCullom Lake Road.
It includes improvement of the intersection and replacement of the bridge over the creek that feeds into the Fox River.
Watch for lane closures and frequent stops. The project is expected to be finished by November.
• JOHNSBURG ROUNDABOUT: Work is beginning on a roundabout intersection at Johnsburg and Chapel Hill roads. The $2.7 million project scheduled to be finished in September includes decorative lighting, landscaping and brick-paved crosswalks.
Eastbound Johnsburg Road is now closed between Spring Grove Road and Fairview Avenue, and westbound Johnsburg Road will be closed from Fairview Avenue to Chapel Hill Road. The road will be open to local traffic to maintain access to local businesses.
A lengthy posted detour will take drivers around via Routes 31 and 120 and Chapel Hill Road. And yes, that detour takes you through the aforementioned mess at Routes 31 and 120 in McHenry.
The work is the second phase of a project to improve Johnsburg Road. The first phase, which improved Johnsburg Road from Route 31 east to the roundabout, was finished earlier this year.
• INTERSTATE 90: Budget extra time if your commute involves I-90, regardless of which direction you’re traveling.
Work will continue this year to improve a 37-mile segment of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway between Elgin and I-39 in Rockford. Eastbound lanes were improved last year, so traffic is being shifted to them so workers can improve the westbound lanes. That work should be finished by the end of the year. But work also has started this year to improve a 25-mile segment of I-90 from Elgin east to the Tri-State Tollway. That work is expected to be finished by the end of 2015. The total cost of the project, meant to widen and improve I-90 between Rockford and O’Hare International Airport, is $2.5 billion.
• ROUTE 176: Work is starting on an upgrade to the intersection of Route 176 and Smith Road in unincorporated Nunda Township. The $1.5 million project is expected to be finished by November.
Work is set to finish by the end of spring on the $10.2 million improvement to the intersections of Routes 31 and 176 in Crystal Lake.
• BECAUSE WE CARE: To those readers whose trips down Route 31 will go through Johnsburg, McHenry, Crystal Lake and Algonquin, you have our deepest sympathies.
• ROUTE 14 IN CARY: Watch for possible delays as work begins on a $1.5 million project to improve Jandus Cutoff from Route 14 to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The project is expected to be finished by September.
Sources: Illinois Department of Transportation, McHenry County Division of Transportation