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updated: 6/22/2011 9:04 PM

Rolling Meadows may give Meacham Road a facelift

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Rolling Meadows officials are resuming talks about using federal highway program funding for long-awaited improvements to a stretch of Meacham Road that passes through the city.

The proposed improvements would widen the roadway from two to four lanes, with left turn lanes, from Emerson Avenue to Algonquin Road, the last remaining two-lane section of road between the villages of Palatine and Schaumburg.

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Similar proposals died in the 1980s and 1990s because of objections from homeowners surrounding Meacham.

Officials say the capacity of the roadway and the lack of left turn lanes is hazardous and contributes to traffic delays. Proponents hope to use current and projected future traffic counts to justify the improvements.

If approved, the project would receive $3.5 million in federal funding, according to city documents.

The portion of the road in question currently has about a 100-foot-wide highway right-of-way and a considerable amount of trees and shrubs, which provides screening of properties along the road, city officials said.

Any expansion of the roadway would face several challenges, beyond just potential resident objections. Engineers would be faced with possible drainage problems and the removal of trees and vegetation. The existing bridge over Salt Creek would also need to be expanded or replaced.

City officials plan to hold a public hearing to hear concerns from residents who live along the corridor as well as the general public sometime in September or October.

In the meantime, the city has received three proposals for concept engineering and plans to use $30,000 from its Motor Fuel Tax fund to pay for the task.

Public Works Director Fred Vogt said one of the reasons for the concept engineering is to have as much information as possible before the public hearing, "to make sure the residents interested, whether they live on or near the road, can all be heard, as well as understand what the options are that we're looking at."

A resolution for the concept engineering portion of the project will be presented to the Rolling Meadows council next month.

Just to the south of the proposed improvements, Schaumburg village officials want a center landscape median and would like to consider adding a bike path along the corridor, according to Rolling Meadows documents.

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