When it comes to avoiding traffic snags in nasty winter weather, McHenry Township Highway Commissioner Jim Condon has a basic rule of thumb.
"All roads to avoid are state roads,” Condon said.
That includes Routes 14 and 31 – stretches of well-traveled asphalt that fall under the responsibilities of the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Sections of Routes 14 and 31 remained unplowed as of 11 a.m. Monday, a morning when up to 6 inches of snow were reported in parts of McHenry County.
“There’s probably a correlation between the quality of snowplowing and the distance between the taxpayers and the entity that makes the decision about plowing their roads,” Condon said.
The IDOT shops closest to Routes 14 and 31 are in Woodstock and Schaumburg.
So who's responsible for plowing what roads in McHenry County?
IDOT is responsible for state roads, including Routes 176, 23, 47, 14 and 31.
Municipalities and townships are responsible for incorporated roads that fall within their boundaries – unless there's an intergovernmental agreement that delegates those responsibilities elsewhere.
An example: The McHenry Township Road District takes care of a section of Ringwood Road that stretches to Fox Lake Road. The route, Condon said, runs through a slice of the city of McHenry.
The McHenry County Division of Transportation is responsible for county-owned highways. A number of county highways – Randall Road, Algonquin Road, Walkup Road – run through incorporated areas. Most county municipalities have a county highway running through them.
MCDOT's highest priorities include Randall, River, Bull Valley, Walkup, Greenwood, Kishwaukee Valley and Algonquin roads.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the roads the McHenry County Division of Transportation is responsible for.