Officials celebrate completion of $58.5 million Lake-Cook Road reconstruction

Local, county, state and federal officials gathered Monday to celebrate the completion of the $58.5 million, 2½-year Lake-Cook Road reconstruction project through Buffalo Grove and Wheeling.

As traffic on the roadway flowed behind her, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told the gathering that the upgrades mean safer, more efficient trips across the northern edge of Cook County for those in the approximately 40,000 vehicles that drive along the road daily.

The improvements, which were completed on time and under budget, included adding a lane of travel in each direction for a 1.5-mile stretch of Lake-Cook between Hastings Lane in Wheeling and Raupp Boulevard in Buffalo Grove.

Turn lanes were added at intersections with Buffalo Grove, Weiland and McHenry roads. And Weiland Road was extended to the south to connect Buffalo Grove Road to McHenry Road (Route 83).

New sidewalks and shared-use paths will benefit pedestrians and bicyclists.

Local officials praised the improvements, reminiscing without nostalgia about the "before" picture on Lake-Cook Road and Route 83.

"Traffic would be lined up for a mile or two to the east on 83 and equally so on Lake-Cook Road," said Wheeling Village President Patrick Horcher, who lives about a half mile away.

Buffalo Grove Trustee Eric Smith noted that initial engineering on the project began in 2009. "This has been a long time coming," he said. "This project is important both regionally and locally."

The $58.5 million included federal grants and funding from Cook County, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Lake County, and the villages of Wheeling and Buffalo Grove.

"This intersection affects people far beyond this corner," said U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, whose 10th District includes parts of northern Cook and southern Lake counties. "Thousands of people every day are going to drive through here and have a chance to benefit."

  Wheeling Village President Patrick Horcher discusses the impact of the recently completed Lake-Cook Road reconstruction project on his town. Steve Zalusky/
  Siamion Popkov, owner of the Mini Donut Factory, was among the guests at a event Monday marking the completion of Lake-Cook Road improvements in Buffalo Grove and Wheeling. His business was impacted by the construction, but he now expects to benefit from the better flow of traffic. Steve Zalusky/
  Buffalo Grove Village Engineer Darren Monico, Village Manager Dane Bragg and Trustee Eric Smith were among those attending the ribbon-cutting for the Lake-Cook Road reconstruction project Monday. Steve Zalusky/
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