Road projects in Northwest suburbs: Route 53 bridges, work on Arlington Hts. and Algonquin

A $54 million plan to replace bridges along Route 53, a $19 million project to add lanes to Barrington Road in South Barrington, and the resurfacing of more than 5 miles of Arlington Heights Road through Arlington Heights and Elk Grove Village are among the major Northwest suburban projects included in the massive $23.5 billion state roads plan recently unveiled.

The Route 53 project calls for five new bridge decks between Algonquin Road and Rand Road - a span that includes Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights and Palatine. The work would cost $45.4 million and could be complete anytime between 2021 and 2025, under the state's preliminary schedule. But some $1 million in engineering work is scheduled to begin next year.

State officials didn't say exactly which bridges are targeted for improvement, but Rolling Meadows officials suspect the Kirchoff Road bridge could be one of them. This summer, crews added more than a dozen supports under the south side of the bridge - a short-term fix intended to last about five years, according to Rob Horne, the city's public works director.

News that the state has allocated funding for Route 53 bridges suggests plans for long-term fixes have accelerated, Horne said.

"Obviously, we're happy it's being done sooner rather than later," he said.

Barrington Road

A $19 million project calls for reconstruction of a 1.5-mile stretch of Barrington Road from south of Algonquin Road to Central Road, and adding a lane each way on a small portion north of Mundhank Road. A bike path is also planned on the west side of Barrington Road.

South Barrington Village Engineer Natalie Karney said phase one project engineering and an environmental study are being completed. Phase two engineering is scheduled for next year.

Arlington Heights Road

A long-planned resurfacing of Arlington Heights Road from Palatine Road in Arlington Heights to Higgins Road in Elk Grove Village is also on the docket.

Arlington Heights Village Engineer Mike Pagones said the $5.5 million paving project was listed under previous state funding cycles, but got cut. Now it's on tap again, though an official start date hasn't been announced.

When it does get underway, Pagones said he expects the resurfacing work to be similar to what took place last summer on Northwest Highway, Golf Road and Algonquin Road.

Algonquin Road

Engineering will begin next year for a planned resurfacing of nearly 5 miles of Algonquin Road between Route 25 and Dundee Road in Barrington Hills. About three-quarters of the $10 million funding allocation is for bridge repair and replacement at Spring Creek.

Since 2017, the state has suggested plans to widen Algonquin Road with two lanes in each direction. If that's the case, village officials have asked for it to be done as a scenic parkway rather than a typical four-lane state highway.

Village President Martin McLaughlin used a baseball analogy when describing the start of engineering work on the multiyear project.

"In a nine-inning game, it means the pitcher is warmed up, on the field, and ready to start the process," he said.

Other work

Other roads set to see improvements by 2025 include:

• Willow Road between the Des Plaines River in Prospect Heights and the Tri-State Tollway exit in Glenview will be reconstructed, along with intersection improvements, more lanes, new lighting, noise barriers and a bridge deck. Cost is $25.4 million.

• A 2-mile stretch of Wolf Road from Milwaukee Avenue to Hintz Road in Wheeling is scheduled for reconstruction next year for $14.7 million.

• Nearly 7 miles of Higgins Road, from Hoffman Estates High School to the Kane County line, will be patched and resurfaced next year for $8.9 million.

• A $5.2 million resurfacing of nearly 8 miles of Des Plaines River Road, from Lake-Cook Road to Rand Road, is planned for next year.

A full list is at

  Rolling Meadows officials anticipate upgrading the Kirchoff Road bridge at Route 53 could be part of the state's massive infrastructure program. Last year, about a dozen support structures were added under the bridge. Joe Lewnard/
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