Local

Roundabout connecting River, Dowell roads open in Island Lake

Cars use a roundabout May 3 in Johnsburg.
Cars use a roundabout May 3 in Johnsburg.

McHenry County’s latest roundabout at River and Dowell roads in Island Lake is open to traffic.

The roundabout replaced a three-way intersection that was controlled by a single stop sign, and it corrected Dowell Road’s extreme skew that made turning left from Dowell Road onto River Road difficult and risky. Crashes at the intersection had increased 60 percent between the reporting periods of 2008 to 2011 and 2012 to 2016.

The contract was awarded April 17 to PirTano Construction Company Inc. of Addison for $3.59 million, and work began in May after utilities were relocated. Project funding came from the McHenry County motor fuel tax and the county’s share of the regional transportation authority sales tax.

“We have replaced an intersection where crashes were increasing with a safer and proven alternative that came in on time and on budget,” director of transportation and county engineer Joseph Korpalski Jr. said. “Even though our newest roundabout is open to traffic, there will still be workers on-site performing landscaping, some curb work, removing temporary pavement, placing the final asphalt surface and other punch-list items that will continue through early December, so we’re asking motorists to please keep an eye out for them and drive carefully.”

Roundabouts make for a safer alternative to traditional intersections because there is only one-way movement throughout the roundabout. Vehicles travel counterclockwise until they find their turn, which all but eliminates the possibility of head-on and right-angle collisions

To learn more about the project, watch time lapse video of its construction and to learn more about roundabouts, visit www.mchenrycountydot.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/mchenrycountydot.

Work is scheduled to start next spring on an Illinois Department of Transportation project to build a roundabout at Harmony Road and Route 20, south of Union.

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