ALGONQUIN – Three construction seasons and $88.5 million later, the Algonquin Western Bypass is officially open to traffic.
Workers removed barricades Thursday and allowed motorists to drive on the new road that is meant to alleviate traffic in downtown Algonquin.
Part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, the 2.11-mile, four-lane segment of Route 31 enables through traffic to travel around the downtown area. The bypass stretches from Edgewood Drive to just south of Klasen Road and includes bridges over Algonquin Road and Crystal Creek, along with a new interchange where the bypass and Route 62 intersect.
In a Saturday news release from the governor’s office, Acting Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren acknowledged the completion of the project has been long-awaited, as planning for the road has spanned decades.
“This new roadway has been a long time coming, but the positive impacts will be felt immediately.” Borggren said. “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 new road includes a diamond interchange that allows Route 31 traffic to continue moving without stopping as it crosses Route 62. Motorists are able to exit off Route 31 and turn onto Route 62 via off ramps.
There also are on ramps that allow motorists to merge from Route 62 onto Route 31.
The Algonquin Bypass isn’t the only state-funded road construction project that is expected to help improve traffic flow in the area.
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 toward 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.