ALGONQUIN – After three years of construction, the long-awaited Algonquin Bypass will open Thursday, weather permitting.
The announcement from Gov. Pat Quinn's office comes after the Illinois Department of Transportation earlier this week said recent rainy weather would prohibit a pre-Labor Day debut of the $88.5 million project.
At that time, IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said striping and lattice work were among the items that needed to be finished before vehicle traffic could travel on the road.
Part of the governor's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, the bypass is a 2.11-mile, four-lane segment of Route 31 that will enable through traffic to travel around Algonquin's downtown area. The project, which has the bypass going from Edgewood Drive to just south of Klasen Road, includes bridges over Algonquin Road and Crystal Creek, along with a new interchange between the bypass and Route 62.
In the news release from the governor's office, Acting Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren acknowledged people have been waiting a long time for the completion of this project.
"This new roadway has been a long time coming, but the positive impacts will be felt immediately." Borggren stated. "I am thrilled that this important project is coming to a conclusion and even more proud of the outstanding cooperation with our federal and local partners that has made this day happen."
The $88.5 million project, which created over 1,000 construction jobs, is being funded by the state and the federal government, along with local contributions.
Over the next few weeks, until construction is completely wrapped up, motorists are advised to take caution while workers finish landscaping and cleaning up the work zone.
Along with the new or upgraded sidewalks and bike paths, the project also incorporated more than 500 trees, 480 bushes and 16,000 plants.
Come spring, an additional portion of the project will include ongoing efforts to widen and reconstruct Route 31 between Trinity Drive and Rakow Road. This will provide two lanes in either direction on Route 31, from Edgewood Drive to Route 176.