Libertyville road work could be delayed til next season
A construction crew with Ricci/Welch work on the water main pipes along Route 137 and Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville last week.
Gilbert R. Boucher II / gboucher@dailyherald
Scheduling issues with utilities could prompt Libertyville officials to ask that work on a key portion of a major road project be deferred until next year.
While no decisions have been made, the village is closely watching the progress of a $23 million project to rebuild and widen a stretch of Milwaukee Avenue on the north side of town, and the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue at Route 137.
"You still have some utilities that have not gotten out of the way," Public Works Director John Heinz said in an update Tuesday to the village board's streets committee. "The biggest one is AT&T."
Heinz told the committee it could be several months before that work is done and the areas cleared for construction crews.
"I would say it's unlikely we'll see the construction done this construction season," Heinz said. "We're trying to convince them (Illinois Department of Transportation) not to start the intersection."
Village officials have said the intersection work by far will be the most disruptive to motorists and surrounding businesses as lanes are reduced. As such, they have stressed they want the intersection to be done in one construction season.
Heinz said Wednesday the village has been advised there are utility conflicts with the pending intersection improvements, but IDOT can't respond until it is officially notified of the scheduling to resolve those issues.
"The conflicts are there, the issue now is timing," he said.
The impact will be far less as Milwaukee Avenue is widened to the north because two lanes of traffic on the two-lane road will be kept open during construction.
Heinz said the intersection will be reduced from five lanes to three during construction and the village prefers it not be left in that state with no work occurring over the winter.
"It's not good for the businesses, it's not good for the motoring public," he said. "My preference is would be they don't do the work until the next construction season."
The project began last fall in a separate $2.3 million project with the removal of hundreds of trees and the installation of temporary pavement north of Route 137. Crews now are installing a storm sewer on Milwaukee Avenue south of Route 137 and have been working to replace a bridge over Bull Creek to the north.
Completion is scheduled for fall 2013.
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