The intersection of Monaville and Cedar Lake roads in Lake Villa will reopen to traffic with a new look Thursday after being closed for 71 days of construction.
The intersection is the site of Lake County's newest roundabout, the fourth built since 2010 as part of what assistant county engineer Al Giertych said is a growth in modern roundabout construction in northern Illinois.
The $1.6 million Monaville/Cedar Lake roundabout construction project started last spring after more than two years of planning. Giertych said the intersection was previously an inefficient 4-way stop sign-controlled crossing.
"It didn't function very well, particularly during morning and afternoon rush hour periods," he said.
There are currently three other modern roundabouts in Lake County -- at Riverwoods and Everett roads and on Hunt Club Road at both Millburn and Wadsworth roads.
Giertych said the Monaville/Cedar Lake roundabout, which sees about 15,900 vehicles a day, was constructed for the improvement of traffic flow and safety during peak traffic hours.
"It removes the worst types of traffic collisions. There's no opportunity for T-bone type collisions -- those are often very dangerous," he said.
Lake County's county engineer Paula Trigg said roundabouts reduce the chance for crashes with injury by about 75 percent.
Giertych said public perception of roundabouts in Lake County was initially apprehensive, but has warmed since the first two were constructed in 2010 and 2011.
"Once we opened it (the first roundabout) up, we heard no complaints about how it was operating," he said.
The next roundabout in Lake County will be built at Roberts and River roads in the Lake Barrington area. Giertych said the county expects bids to open in January, construction to begin next spring and for completion of the roundabout in fall 2014.