ALGONQUIN – Crews poured concrete on a Friday to help complete the future driving surface that will take motorists around downtown Algonquin, which they previously have had to drive through.
Work is about 80 percent complete on the Algonquin Western Bypass and the Illinois Department of Transportation is aiming to open the road around Labor Day.
The harsh winter and the colder than normal spring had an effect on construction, which held back some concrete work, IDOT said.
“That took time away on the main bridge span,” said Troy Wancket, Illinois Department of Transportation Bureau of Construction resident engineer.
IDOT, however, always projected a fall 2014 opening.
“By the end of August, beginning of September we’ll be in good shape,” Wancket said.
The traffic signals for the road are in place but have yet to be activated. Workers also have to complete work on parapet walls, staining of walls and other aesthetics, Wancket said.
Landscaping work is expected to take place in the fall after the bypass opens. That work, however, may require periodic daytime closures, IDOT spokeswoman Jae Miller said in an email to the Northwest Herald.
When all is complete, the village will have a 2.11-mile, four-lane road that takes thru traffic around the downtown alleviating congestion at the Route 31 and Route 62 intersection. The bypass includes bridges over Algonquin Road and Crystal Creek, as well as an interchange at Route 62.
With the other construction projects taking place along Route 31, including the widening from Trinity Drive to Rakow Road, the state roadway from the Algonquin bypass to just north of Route 176 will be four lanes when work is complete.
“It’s an important corridor in McHenry County,” Wancket said.
IDOT expects to have the speed limit for the bypass north of Algonquin Road set at 45 mph, and south of Algonquin Road at 35 mph, Wancket said.
South of Algonquin Road is more of an urban area and is closer to the part of Route 31 that narrows to two lanes.
Money for the $33.3 million construction project is coming from the state’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. When including engineering costs, environmental studies, land acquisition, demolition of buildings and construction, state, federal and county governments are estimated to have spent $70.5 million on the project since 1996.
“It’s been a very unique project and real exciting to work on,” Wancket said. “We hope it’s going to be a lot of good for everybody.”
The Algonquin bypass isn’t the only state-funded road construction project that can help improve traffic flow for the village.
Kane County is planning construction of the Longmeadow Parkway project, which would add 5.6 miles of road from Route 62 across the Fox River to Huntley Road in the area of Algonquin and Carpentersville.
The state has pledged $45 million for the estimated $120 million project.
Tolls would contribute to future funding. Prices have not yet been set for the tolls, which will be collected with an I-Pass-compatible system in cooperation with the Illinois Tollway, according to Kane County.