ALGONQUIN – With local, state and county officials talking about plans to widen Randall Road, McHenry County motorists who were visiting Randall Road businesses on Friday voiced their opinions on the topic.
The proposal to widen Randall Road to six lanes from Harnish Drive in Algonquin to Ackman Road in Lake in the Hills comes with a price tag of $97 million.
Although those in favor of the proposal hope widening the road will alleviate congestion, those against it find the project too costly.
“Right now, I just don’t feel it’s a necessary expense,” Darlene Weglarz of Algonquin said.
For some drivers, the congestion on Randall Road is a fact of life. The densely packed businesses will continue to attract a multitude of drivers regardless of lane expansion, they said. Algonquin resident Luis Varela acknowledged the congestion, but said he could not justify the cost of the project.
Other residents said the project’s budget could be more appropriately spent in other areas.
For Lynne Quinn of Algonquin, the cost would be better justified in funding education rather than widening the road, she said.
Because of the current congestion on Randall, many drivers resort to accessing stores through back roads. Others find themselves deterred from shopping, considering the congestion simply not worth the hassle of traffic.
“I avoid Randall Road at all costs,” Karyn Peterson of Lakewood said.
Frequent drivers of Randall Road become aware of the heavily congested hours. In an effort to avoid frustration, local drivers said they try to refrain from traveling on Randall during periods of rush hour.
“You don’t want to go out at 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock,” Ann Arnold of Sleepy Hollow said.
Other drivers acknowledged the congestion on Randall Road as deserving of a lane expansion. Whether it’s daily commutes or grocery shopping, some view the traffic as evidence supporting the need for an expansion project.
Although unsure whether the project and its expense most efficiently solves the problem, Huntley resident Robert Gallagher believes Randall Road needs to be widened.
“It’s definitely a necessity,” he said.
Although upgrading to six lanes would make businesses on Randall Road more readily accessible, the project’s two-phase construction deters some residents from its promises. Phase one alone, which would stretch from Harnish Drive to Polaris Drive, is estimated to require two years of construction before its completion.
Adding a construction zone and equipment makes other drivers wary of clogging the already-congested road. Weglarz is concerned the project might add further danger to Randall Road.
“Right now, I feel that expanding it would be more of an accident zone,” Weglarz said.