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Article updated: 5/8/2013 11:14 AM

Pending agreements move Rollins Gateway project closer to construction

By Mick Zawislak

Several agreements involving the Rollins Gateway project in Round Lake Beach are up for approval as major construction on the complicated, two-year project nears.

Agreements between Lake County and various entities, including the village, Lake County Forest Preserve District, Round Lake Area Park District, Northern Illinois Gas, and the Canadian National Railroad, are expected to be inked within the next week as part of the plan to lower Rollins beneath a bridge to replace an at-grade railroad crossing just west of Route 83.

The project in the heavily commercial area involves several other elements, including widening the intersection, shifting shopping center entrances, creating and linking a sidewalk/path system and relocating several utilities.

Among the five agreements to be considered Wednesday by the Lake County Board's public works and transportation committee and by the full board on Tuesday is one in which the village will reimburse the county about $1.36 million to relocate sewer and water mains, build sidewalks and install landscaping among other details, such as easements.

Village officials about a year ago set aside funds with the idea it would be more cost efficient to have the work done as part of the larger project. The village board is scheduled to vote on the measure Monday.

"It's always been better if they include it as part of their work and bill us back," Village Administrator David Kilbane said.

Related agreements with the forest preserve and park districts will allow for construction of sidewalks and trail extensions to connect the commercial area with the municipal center, as well as forest preserve and local trails and amenities.

"It's something the village has wanted for a long time," Kilbane said.

Another agreement is for $1.85 million to Northern Illinois Gas to relocate a gas main along Route 83. ComEd for the past few months has been relocating its equipment in the area in advance of the roadwork.

"We're working very hard to get this project to a contract award," said Al Giertych, assistant county engineer. A bid opening is scheduled for May 21, with construction expected to begin this summer.

"It's a very large, complex project. There are a lot of factors involved," he added.

Construction has been estimated at $43 million, but the total cost would be about $61 million when property acquisition, utility relocation, engineering and other work are included.

The schedule is for two full construction seasons. Much of the work this year will involve building a temporary Rollins Road south of the existing alignment, Giertych said. A public open house will be held before the full scale work.

The project website will be constantly updated and a webcam will focus on the work.

"Given this project is so large and unusual we're going to reach out and do more than we normally would," he said. "We're going to put a lot of information out there."

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