An accident-prone intersection in Antioch is receiving much-needed attention with ongoing construction work that is adding turn lanes and a stoplight, village officials said.
The $1.2 million Illinois Department of Transportation project at Route 173 and Tiffany Road is work Mayor Lawrence Hanson said the village has been lobbying for since the 1990s. The crossing currently does not have either amenity.
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"It's unfortunate that it has taken a lot of traffic accidents to make it happen," Hanson said. "That light couldn't come soon enough."
According to IDOT reports, 27 nonfatal collisions were reported at the T-shaped intersection from 2008 to 2012. Two nonfatal crashes were listed for 2013.
IDOT spokeswoman Jae Miller said in an email the agency is still processing 2013 crash data.
"It's a T intersection and it's actually very busy because it's a cut off route from Wisconsin to Illinois," IDOT Project Engineer Eric Fauth said.
The most frequently reported accident each year at that intersection involves vehicles turning onto either road.
The aim of new turn lanes and stoplights, Fauth said, is to reduce the potential for accidents.
Antioch Police Cmdr. Rick Moritz said the 45 mph speed on Route 173 and the blind spots are among the top reasons for the collisions.
"We have accidents frequently there. It's so frequent that we don't put numbers out," Moritz said after the most recent accident at the intersection on June 20. "The construction is helping solve the problem."
Hanson said nearby subdivisions also have seen an increase in traffic from drivers trying to avoid the intersection.
"There is so much traffic on Tiffany," Hanson said. "It will be such a huge, huge relief for that bottleneck there."
Miller said the project was funded through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program. The program is 90 percent federal funds and 10 percent local match.
Construction on the intersection began in mid-March. Weather-permitting, Fauth said, late July would be a "very good assumption" for when all the work will be completed.
The Route 173 and Tiffany Road intersection work is a separate project from the IDOT construction on the Route 173 corridor between routes 59 and 45.