Motorists are being alerted to the pending closure of a major east-west road in central Lake County, but the potential fallout is hard to gauge.
As of 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4, Route 120 at the Canadian National Railroad immediately west of Route 83 in Grayslake will be closed for 10 days to repair the rough crossing.
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Though the work is being done on and near state routes, Lake County on Tuesday issued a "major detour announcement" linked to an Illinois Department of Transportation news release on the project.
The detour for eastbound drivers will be Alleghany Road to Peterson Road to Route 83, and the reverse for those headed west. That route stretches several miles and will lead drivers into another construction zone at the Route 83/Peterson Road intersection, which is being rebuilt and widened.
While the county would prefer not to have extra traffic running through the intersection, "we understand this is a very rough crossing that cannot be put off until our project is completed," said Glenn Petko, engineer of construction for the Lake County Division of Transportation.
According to IDOT, 17,200 vehicles per day use Route 120 west of Route 83, and 17,600 use it to the east of the intersection.
Kevin Timony, assistant to the village manager in Grayslake, said it will be an inconvenience but no major effects are expected and no special plans have been made by the village to deal with the closure, other than an email reminder to residents. Timony said the crossing has been closed before, although not for as long.
"Every now and then you have to deal with it," he said. "It's not as bad as it probably could be at a different time of year," when school is in session.
Many drivers approach the village from the west, he added.
"They may even be branching out before they get to the Grayslake area," Timony predicted.
CN Spokesman Patrick Waldron said the work to remove the crossing surface was straightforward.
"It's regular maintenance," Waldron said, and among dozens done each season. Nearly four dozen freight and Metra commuter trains use the tracks daily.
Some spillover is expected on other roads, such as Center Street through downtown Grayslake.
"We'll probably have more business then," said Cory Scholz, manager of Something's Brewing Inc., coffee shop.
To others, it won't make much difference.
"I usually try to avoid 120 anyway," said Amy Shriberg, of Grayslake. "I only go down it at unusual times when it doesn't back up."
Grayslake Power Equipment is on Route 120 between Alleghany Road and Route 83.
"It's just another hassle. We've been through it before," said owner Rich Demeyer.
"Traffic on this highway, it just gets worse and worse all the time."