Detour: Summer means races, so share the road

McHenry County’s many summer events are too numerous to mention, but we’ll mention one to keep you aware of sharing the road.

• LAKE IN THE HILLS TRIATHLON: If your travels Sunday morning take you through Lake in the Hills or Lakewood, especially Randall, Miller and Haligus roads, keep an eye out for runners and bicyclists participating in the endurance event.

• ROUTES 31 AND 120: Work is ongoing 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. The new lane configuration remains in effect this weekend, as do the lane closures on Route 120.

The project is expected to be finished by November.

• JOHNSBURG ROUNDABOUT: Work is continuing 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 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.

• 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. This is the second year of the two-year project, and work is expected to be finished this fall.

• ROUTE 31: Work has started to widen Route 31 to four lanes from Rakow Road in Crystal Lake south to Trinity Drive in Lake in the Hills. The $5.2 million project is expected to be finished by next spring.

• MARENGO ROAD: Work will begin Monday to improve the signals at the intersections of Marengo Road and West Main Street, and Harmony and Hemmer roads west of Huntley. Both intersections will remain open to traffic, but watch for occasional lane closures. Eastbound travel on Main Street will not be permitted because of upcoming bridge work.

• MAIN STREET BRIDGE: Main Street between Harmony and Coyne Station roads west of Huntley will be closed as of Monday so workers can rehabilitate the bridge over the south branch of the Kishwaukee River. Local traffic will still have access to the bridge, but other traffic will be detoured along Routes 47, 176, 23, 20 and Harmony Road. Both the signal project and the bridge work are expected to be finished by early August, weather permitting.

• MARENGO: Prospect Street will be down to one lane through fall as part of a $2.9 million project to widen the road and to add sidewalks and a traffic light at Route 20. The street is open only to northbound traffic, and southbound traffic is being detoured.

• FRANKLINVILLE ROAD: Work will start later this month on a $1 million project to replace the aging Franklinville Road bridge over the Kishwaukee River. The bridge is about a half-mile north of Route 176, between Woodstock and Marengo. We’ll let you know when the project starts, and the route the required detour will take you. The project is expected to wrap up by October.

• ROUTES 31 AND 176: Work is ongoing on a $10.2 million project to improve the intersection of both routes in Crystal Lake. It is down to one lane in all directions. The state has said the project will wrap up by the end of spring, but a glance at the projects indicates that a spring completion appears very unlikely.

• INTERSTATE 90: Budget extra time if your commute involves I-90, regardless of which direction you’re traveling.

Work continues this year to improve a 37-mile segment of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway between Elgin and Interstate 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 continuing for 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.

• ROUTE 14 IN CARY: Watch for possible delays as work continues 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.

• FUTURE MAJOR ROAD WORK: Bids are expected to be let in August to widen Charles Miller Road in McHenry between Route 31 and the recently-widened bridge over the Fox River. If you’ve noticed utility relocation work on Route 14 in Woodstock, it’s for a project to widen it to four lanes between Woodstock and Crystal Lake. Again, an August bid-letting is anticipated.

Sources: Illinois Department of Transportation, McHenry County Division of Transportation

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