Upgrades planned for Millburn bypass area

The Millburn bypass of Route 45 in north central Lake County was a monumental project but more upgrades are pending for the adjoining area.

Up next is a multifaceted $6.2 million project to resurface more than five miles of Grass Lake/Millburn roads and make other improvements through Lindenhurst, Lake Villa and Old Mill Creek.

Work on Grass Lake/Millburn roads extends from Deep Lake Road on the west to Hunt Club Road on the east. Approved Tuesday by the Lake County Board, it is a follow-up to the four-lane, 7,200-foot bypass west of the Millburn Historic District completed last fall

That bypassed segment, at a little under a mile long, is now known as Main Street. Resurfacing and drainage work is planned there as part of the overall project.

The $31 million bypass had been envisioned for decades to solve backups at what had been known as the Millburn Strangler - a short stretch of Route 45 between Grass Lake and Millburn roads.

Because the north/south bypass wasn't on the Illinois Department of Transportation's horizon, Lake County paid for the project and the state agency managed it.

As part of that project, Grass Lake and Milburn roads were realigned and connected at one intersection and other amenities installed.

"It was highly coordinated between what IDOT was doing and what we were doing," said Glenn Petko, engineer of construction for the Lake County Division of Transportation. "Now that they're done, we're starting."

The pending project involves milling and resurfacing Grass Lake Road, Main Street (former Route 45) and Millburn Road; filling sidewalk gaps and installing a bike path on the north side of Grass Lake Road; removing and replacing a box culvert and storm sewer on Main Street; and, associated improvements.

"To me, it's almost four jobs in one," Petko said.

For comparison, resurfacing and related work wrapping up along 3.7 miles of Butterfield Road from Route 176 in Libertyville to Route 45 in Vernon Hills cost about $3.3 million.

Millburn resurfacing and Main Street drainage work is expected to begin in September, with Grass Lake Road and Main Street resurfacing in 2021.

As subdivisions were built, sidewalks were required only along the frontages. That created gaps along Grass Lake Road, an important east-west artery for Lindenhurst residents.

"Once complete, our residents will be able to walk, run, or bike from U.S. 45 to Deep Lake Road," village administrator Clay Johnson said.

Filling the sidewalk and bike path gaps will complement recently completed village projects such as the reconstruction of Beck Road, which included a sidewalk, Johnson added.

Path connections will be made to Lakes High School, McDonald Woods and Hastings Lake forest preserves, the regional Millennium Trail bike path and the Lindenhurst Park District facilities, he said.

Lake County was given control by IDOT of the 0.8-mile stretch of old Route 45, now known as Main Street. The county will resurface and make drainage improvements on Main Street before turning it over to Old Mill Creek.

Millburn bypass work begins in earnest

Work to untangle Millburn Strangler is moving along

Millburn Strangler officially vanquished

  Grass Lake Road, shown near Beck Road, will be resurfaced and sidewalk gaps filled as part of a pending $6.2 million project in the area. Paul Valade/
Lake County has approved a $6.2 million project to resurface more than 5 miles of Grass Lake and Millburn roads and Main Street, the former Route 45, in north central Lake County. Filling sidewalk and bike trail gaps and drainage work is part of the project. Courtesy of Lake County Division of transportation
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