After months of discussion, Rolling Meadows aldermen will vote tonight on the next steps for a possible Meacham Road expansion.
Expanding the two-lane stretch of the road running between Algonquin Road and Emerson Avenue has been controversial as officials try to strike a balance between the needs of commuters and those of outspoken residents opposed to more lanes.
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Traffic projections show that by 2040 the number of cars on the road will increase from 14,000 vehicles per day to more than 20,000. With those projections and an aging roadway, IDOT could require five lanes -- two lanes each way and a center lane to make left turns -- while residents who live near the roadway have spoken out against that idea.
Compromise may come in the form of a three-lane road featuring one lane in each direction and a center lane for left turns.
Mayor Tom Rooney said Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg are trying to take a proactive step before IDOT comes in and does something residents really don't want. While IDOT doesn't have plans to redo Meacham Road in the immediate future, it is a possibility by 2040, he added.
"Whenever this gets done, the IDOT default will be five lanes," Rooney said. "To do nothing now will be to get five lanes later."
Because two aldermen were absent from the city council's last committee-of-the-whole meeting, Rooney asked for city staff to wait until tonight's meeting so the full council could vote on a letter of intent for engineering a three-lane road.
The council meets at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3600 Kirchoff Road.