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updated: 3/25/2014 11:16 PM

Transportation improvements recommended for Wauconda

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A pair of consultants recommended a slew of road and signal improvements for a busy stretch of Route 176 in Wauconda during a village board meeting Tuesday night.

New traffic lights, shopping center entrances and other features on streets that connect with Route 176 were targeted in the plan, too.

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The recommendations are designed to improve traffic flow and encourage development and redevelopment in the area.

"It gives a template when developers come in," Trustee John Barbini said.

That's particularly important now that the board has established a special taxing district for a segment of the Route 176 corridor as a way to raise money for improvement projects.

Representatives from a transportation engineering firm called Gewalt Hamilton Associates made the presentation. The company had been hired to look at the roadways as part of the village's 2012 comprehensive plan.

Route 176 and Route 12, which intersect at a ramped interchange, are the two busiest roads in the plan. Both are maintained by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Traffic congestion on sections of both was rated to be at the "worst" possible level of service, according to the report.

"It's not efficient," consultant Dan Brinkman said. "That hinders efforts."

A proposed realignment of the Route 176/Route 12 intersection was targeted in the presentation, with a price tag of $30 million to $50 million.

Barbini politely acknowledged that's probably not going to fly. The consultants didn't argue, saying some horse trading with IDOT could result from the plan.

This study, Brinkman said, allows the village to "take the first step" with the state agency.

Other recommendations included:

• The removal of some traffic lights that aren't in efficient spots.

• The addition of new traffic lights.

• Changes to the access points at some properties, such as making them right-turn-only exits instead of two-way exits.

The study would need approval from the village board before it's forwarded to IDOT for consideration.

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