WOODSTOCK – Drivers will be able to legally drive a touch bit faster on the newly widened Rakow Road.
The County Board voted last week, 23-0, to increase the speed limit from 45 to 50 mph.
The change took effect upon the posting of the revised signs on the heavily traveled road that connects the north-south corridors of Route 31 and Randall Road.
The 45 mph speed limit on the 3-mile stretch of road is almost universally ignored. Rakow Road for years was mired in stop-and-go rush hour traffic.
Tuesday’s vote defied an earlier recommendation from the McHenry County Division of Transportation that the speed limit remain the same. A study undertaken by the DOT pegged the average speed of motorists at 52 mph. But the board’s Transportation Committee last month rejected the recommendation and later recommended, 7-0, a 5-mph increase.
A long anticipated two-year, $37 million project finished in 2012 widened Rakow Road to four lanes from Route 31 to Pyott Road, and to six lanes between Pyott and Ackman roads.
The original two-lane configuration was a nightmare for its 40,000 daily commuters, who during peak travel hours were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The redesign of Rakow Road in recent months has received awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies and the American Public Works Association.
Tuesday’s vote was part of the consent agenda and was approved without discussion.