HUNTLEY – The congestion and traffic back-ups that have long made the commute to Huntley High School seem endless for parents and students should improve by the new school year.
The District 158 board last week made Elgin-based Lamp Inc. the construction manager for the $1.32 million Harmony Road widening project, a move that should have construction workers on location later this month.
Included in the multi-million dollar high school expansion, the Harmony Road project, school officials said, addresses traffic congestion that has made the commute to Huntley High a headache for students, parents, teachers and staff.
Lamp Inc. now will have to ensure the widening project is completed by August – a deadline the board wants met before students return to school, Board President Don Drzal said.
“Any road construction while school is in session is going to create traffic concerns. Just by the sheer number of students and staff there already is creates traffic concerns,” Drzal said. “There’s no need to double up on that.”
Once completed, Harmony Road will feature a new left turn lane that will lead students down a new access road and student parking lot, just east of the high school’s main entrance.
The added turn lane also means crews will have to readjust and widen shoulders along Harmony Road, the only thoroughfare parents and students currently can use to enter Huntley High.
The project coincides with temporary signal improvements the McHenry County Board approved earlier this spring to intersections along the eastern half of the school’s traffic route.
Drzal said the county should install temporary traffic lights at West Main Street and along Harmony and Hemmer roads sometime this summer.
The traffic upgrades start as crews continue to make dramatic changes to Huntley High in an ongoing expansion project that would accommodate the 3,000 students expected by the end of the decade.
The $15.12 million construction work already underway overhauls the school’s main entrance and creates a new fieldhouse.
The initial improvements came about $1.49 million under budget, and district officials have said the savings would be used to help pay for the Harmony Road improvements.