Bypass choice fails key standards
When the engineers at the Lake County Division of Transportation selected the west bypass option for Route 45 at Millburn Road, they failed to adhere to important parts of Context Sensitive Solutions engineering. Part of CSS, as defined by the Federal Highway Administration:
• The project is a safe facility for both the user and the community.
• The project is in harmony with the community.
• The project is seen as having added lasting value to the community.
The west bypass fails all three of the aforementioned CSS design elements. It is less safe that an east bypass due to its proximity to homes. It is causing disharmony within the community, which will only worsen as the project moves forward. It is a detriment to the community in which it will be built, both economically and in the way it affects the quality of life of the local residents.
CSS asks the project engineers to think of community impact as equal in importance to efficient travel. LCDOT has failed in this regard. The east bypass will be safer for the community, in harmony with the surrounding development and will add lasting value by allowing future development to be designed around the road, instead of trying to shoehorn the road into an existing community.
The east bypass will also satisfy the basic need of the project to alleviate traffic delays on Route 45 at Millburn Road. The LCDOT should build the east bypass and use some of the $1 million savings to retrain their engineers on the proper way to evaluate public works projects.