Barrington mayor: 'Lake Zurich Road will have to be dealt with'
Barrington's top elected official focused on the potential realignment of Lake Zurich Road during her annual State of the Village address Monday night.
Village President Karen Darch said the proposed shift through Barrington Area Library property could be part of a long-awaited Northwest Highway underpass at nearby Canadian National Railway tracks or a stand-alone project. She indicated the village could be closing in on grants that would help fund the underpass.
"So one way or another, Lake Zurich Road will have to be dealt with when that (grant) money is in hand for the underpass project, which again can be soon, can be quickly," Darch said.
Library board members in April 2018 voted to end negotiations with the village of Barrington over the sale of land to accommodate the proposed Lake Zurich Road realignment.
Village officials cited safety as a reason to shift Lake Zurich Road through the library's parking lot to a traffic signal where Berry Road begins at Northwest Highway at the facility's entrance.
Under a tentative deal approved by the village board in early 2018, Barrington would have bought the library's 2.5-acre parking lot for an appraised price approved by both sides, subject to agreement by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Part of the project called for a new parking area with more spaces at no cost to the library, a new walkway along Northwest Highway and an entrance ending the need for patrons to walk through parking lot traffic to get inside.
Darch said the Lake Zurich Road proposal "is not something that was considered hastily for a short-term purpose" as she went over its history during her State of the Village address. She said the Lake Zurich Road issue will be revisited with library officials.
A stop sign currently controls traffic for right and left turns from westbound Lake Zurich Road onto Northwest Highway.
Federal money was supposed to fund 50 percent of the $5.9 million Lake Zurich Road realignment, with the state and village chipping in 25 percent each.
Darch's State of the Village address also touched on concerns about escalating costs for police and fire pensions. Looking back at 2018, she expressed satisfaction with a retail occupancy rate of 97 percent, a 10 percent increase in sales tax revenue and $218,774 in private donations that were made to support Barrington's White House on Main Street.