Lake County officials recently held a news conference at Rollins Road and Route 83 in Round Lake Beach, the county's largest transportation improvement to date, to kickoff to the 2014 road construction season.
This project includes building an underpass and lowering the entire intersection below the Metra and CNRR tracks, County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor said. The $33 million intersection improvement is one of five large projects that have taken several years to construct and will be completed this year.
"We recognize that a good transportation system is critical to supporting a high quality of life and economic growth," Lawlor said. "We also recognize that people don't know or care what jurisdiction is responsible for the road. They just want to be able to get where they're going quickly and safely."
Lake County has $170 million in road improvements under construction this year, which exceeds last year's record program of $121 million. Twenty-five new projects will start and be completed this year, and five new projects start late this year and carry over into next year, he said.
Several intersection improvements and pedestrian/bike path projects also are in the program, and 50 lane miles of existing roads will be resurfaced.
Several large projects started last year, including the Rollins Road project, and will be completed this year. Others include:
• Intersection improvement at Fairfield Road and Route 176 near Wauconda.
• Widening of Delany Road from Sunset Avenue to Yorkhouse Road.
• Intersection improvement at Wadsworth Road and Route 131 in Beach Park.
• Reconstruction and widening of Washington Street from Cedar Lake Road to west of Hainesville Road in Round Lake and Round Lake Park.
New expansion projects this year include:
• Reconstruction and widening of Peterson Road to five lanes from Route 45 in Libertyville to west of Route 83 in Grayslake, and to five lanes from west of Route 83 to west of Alleghany Road in Grayslake.
• Hawley Street will be reconstructed and widened from east of Route 45 to Midlothian Road in Mundelein
• Widen Washington Street to five lanes from Hainesville Road to Lake Street in Round Lake Park, Hainesville and Grayslake. This major improvement will lower the roadway below the Metra and CNRR tracks.
• A fifth roundabout will be started this year in Lake Barrington.
"We are the only county in the Chicago region that is dedicating 100 percent of the quarter-cent sales tax to transportation," Lawlor said. "We are investing a half-billion dollars over the next five years to improve our regional transportation system. More than half of that is for projects that expand and add capacity to county highways."
The five-year road improvement plan includes 17 highway expansion projects -- about 12 miles -- 22 intersection improvements, and 66 pavement resurfacing and reconstruction projects.
Lawlor said there are 462 intersections now online and connected to the PASSAGE system and that number continues to grow. This year, an adaptive traffic signal to control technology to a portion of the Aptakisic Road travel corridor in southeast Lake County will be introduced to improve traffic flow and to reduce travel delays.
The county also just launched a newly expanded mapping application on the LCDOT website, where people can use the map to find the project they're interested in, click on the project and see the latest information and updates.