Planning has started for improvements to Algonquin Road through Barrington Hills, but Illinois Department of Transportation officials say construction would not begin for at least six years.
IDOT officials said crash data from 2010 through 2015 illustrates why Algonquin/Route 62 should be upgraded from Dundee Road/Route 68 on the east to Route 25/Elgin Road on the west. There were 687 crashes in that stretch, with 46 percent of those being rear-end collisions.
IDOT hosted the first public information meeting regarding the proposal Thursday at the Barrington Park District's headquarters in the Lions Drive fitness and recreation center. Visitors dropped by the open house over three hours and asked questions of IDOT representatives and left written suggestions on what should be done with Algonquin Road.
IDOT project manager Kimberly Murphy said construction would not start for six or seven years. A decision has yet to be made on what type of improvements would be made.
Murphy said IDOT is collecting information from those interested in the proposed project as it begins preliminary engineering and environmental studies. More open-house meetings and a public hearing will be part of the process.
"It is a process," she said. "Plus, we want to make sure the public involvement (occurs) so we don't miss things along the way."
About 28,300 vehicles travel daily on Algonquin between routes 68 and 25 in Cook and Kane counties, according to IDOT. That stretch of road has bridle crossings and borders Spring Lake Forest Forest Preserve.
Because of Barrington Hills' strong equestrian community, retired DuPage County Forest Preserve District public affairs director Bill Weidner is consulting with the state agency on horse concerns.
"I think listening to the equestrian owners is our first priority, and to understand what their needs are and what they would like to see in way of improvements on Algonquin Road and safety for the riders is of utmost importance," Weidner said.
IDOT also is forming a community advisory group for the project. Plans are to include local government officials, property owners and Barrington Hills residents.