Road work delays get special attention in Libertyville

Updated 8/25/2013 4:45 PM

The familiar refrain "expect delays" again will greet motorists in the Libertyville area on Tuesday as pre-cast concrete sections of a pedestrian trail are delivered and installed.

Weather permitting, Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) will be closed in both directions from Route 120 to about 1,500-feet south of Casey Road for periodic 15-minute intervals from about 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Seven sections, each 20-feet wide and 14-feet tall will be set for a pedestrian tunnel beneath Route 21.

Major delays are expected but that is nothing new to those who travel through the intersection of Route 21 and Route 137 (Peterson Road). Now in its second year, the $23 million project to widen the intersection and rebuild and widen Milwaukee Avenue for more than two miles from near the Merit Club golf course in Gurnee to Finstad Drive in Libertyville has remained an irritant for drivers and businesses.

Interest from those affected by the work has been high enough that county officials created a dedicated website that debuted in recent weeks. It also is available through the county's website. The road project is overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation but Lake County is paying the cost.

"This is a special consideration, given the size of the project," said Al Giertych, assistant county engineer. "There's a great deal of interest in the central part of the county on the state of the project."

The website includes general project information, frequently asked questions, contacts, a schedule and a list of businesses in the area. Updates come from weekly meetings with the contractor.

Libertyville also provides updates on its website, in newsletters and in other ways and has relaxed its sign code to help affected businesses. It will soon go a step further with advertising to remind drivers the businesses are open.

"We've had efforts, this is just another one," said Heather Rowe, the village's economic development coordinator. "We're going to be using the ad both to appeal to people to frequent those businesses and the website availability."

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