Development isn't expected for a while, but traffic at the intersection of routes 12 and 120 already is a challenge that planners want to address.
"We also want to look at the whole area," said Chuck Gleason, project manager for the Lake County Division of Transportation. The agency is hosting a public information session on the topic from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Volo village hall, 500 S. Fish Lake Road.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the proposed study of portions of Route 12/59, Route 120, Gilmer Road, Ellis Drive and Volo Village Road in Lakemoor and Volo. The Division of Transportation staff and the county's engineering consultant, TranSystems Corp., will be on hand to discuss existing conditions and answer questions.
One of the main aspects of the study is the potential relocation of Gilmer Road, between Ellis Drive and Route 120, to a point farther east, as the signal is just east of Route 12 and contributes to backups at certain times of day.
One thought is to relocate the traffic signal and make Ellis the new north leg of Gilmer, Gleason said. Access to the existing Gilmer would then be restricted to right-in and right-out.
Ellis currently dead-ends at Gilmer. Several years ago, it was planned to continue west through the proposed Volo Marketplace, a 750,000-square-foot shopping center, and connect with Route 12. But that development didn't happen.
"There are no development prospects at this particular time," said Eric Tison, assistant village administrator.
All four corners of the routes 120/12 intersection are in Lakemoor, and the vacant southwest corner is being marketed for commercial development.
Other goals of the study would include a western extension of Ellis Drive across Route 12 to turn north and connect with Volo Village Road. Potential intersection improvements at Volo Village Road and Route 12/59, as well as traffic signal improvements throughout the area, are being considered.
"For Volo, it's a big deal," village President Burnell Russell said.
Russell said Volo wants to develop a ring road system.
"What we're trying to do is reduce the traffic at 120 and 12," Russell said.
Gleason said the idea is to have a road system plan in place for when development does proceed. About 55,000 vehicles go through the intersection daily, he added.
Route 120 from east of Route 12 is considered the top of the `T' in the possible extension of Route 53 from Lake-Cook Road into central Lake County. But that is a separate issue, Gleason said.
"No matter whether 53 comes or not, there's a problem there today," he said. "The idea is to think ahead and start setting up some roads now."