Continuous flow intersection considered for Algonquin/Randall

Posted6/9/2012 7:57 AM

McHenry County officials who made a day trip to Colorado this week to check out a continuous flow intersection say they are satisfied it works well, but still have questions whether one would work in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.

A CFI at Randall and Algonquin roads is part of a McHenry County Division of Transportation plan to improve the 3-mile stretch of Randall Road from Ackman Road to County Line Road. It would be the first one in Illinois.


Algonquin Village President John Schmitt said he was pleased with the CFI in Loveland, Colo., from an engineering standpoint. In a CFI, traffic flows left with an extra light and crossover lane.

"It seems to be very confusing if you try to describe it or even look at a simulation, but when you drive it, it's just intuitive. You follow the strips on the road and the signs and the lights, and you do it. It's really very, very smooth," he said.

However, the Loveland intersection has both less traffic and commercial density than the Randall/Algonquin roads intersection, he said. Also, businesses in Loveland had mixed opinions of the CFI, with negative ones focusing on inconveniences such as customers having to access businesses from the back, rather than the front, he said.

McHenry County transportation committee chairwoman Anna May Miller said she was pleased to find out that CFIs are easy to navigate, but still has concerns about its long-term impact on businesses.

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"Something has to be done (at Randall and Algonquin roads). What that something is, is going to have to be a balance between the good of the many in the motoring public and what is going to be the least impact for the businesses," she said.

Lake in the Hills Trustee Ray Bogdanowski said he was displeased no one from the village was on the trip, which also included state Rep. Mike Tryon, state Sen. Pam Althoff, McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, Algonquin Trustee Gerry Glogowski, McHenry County Director of Transportation Joe Korpalski and McHenry County Economic Development Corporation President Pam Cumpata. The county would request federal funds for the $80 million project.

Bogdanowski said he was only asked Tuesday, too late to make plans.

"I must say that I'm a little insulted. I've always felt that when it comes to the county and Lake in the Hills, Lake in the Hills was an afterthought," he said.

McHenry County transportation committee vice chairman Paula Yensen said Lake in the Hills Village President Ed Plaza couldn't make the trip due to a family commitment. She contacted every Lake in the Hills village board member as soon as she was asked to, she said. "It was late notice, but it was not purposeful," she said.


Earlier this year, the Lake in the Hills Village Board blasted the CFI plan, favoring instead dual left-turn lanes. More than 30 businesses along Randall Road signed a petition in agreement.

Algonquin board members had mixed reactions to the plan, but Schmitt said he has met with several businesses and took their feedback to the county. The county now has agreed to concessions such as leaving all current curb cuts on Algonquin Road, he said. "The county has been very willing to work with us," he said.

MCDOT is reviewing all public comments and might present its final plan to the county board's transportation committee in the next month, design manager Wally Dittrich said. The proposed plan calls for the demolition of at least two businesses, including a Phillips 66 gas station and a Bank of America building at the intersection.

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