Despite expected revenue loss, Lake County still on course with road construction
Funding for road projects is expected to drop because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Lake County expects to stay on course this year.
"We are moving forward with our 2020 construction program as planned," County Engineer Shane Schneider reported Wednesday to the county board's public works, planning and transportation committee.
Sources of funding like motor fuel tax and sales tax are collected in arrears, so the full brunt of the economic impact hasn't been felt yet, he said.
"Every month, we'll take a look at those funds and adjust our program."
The Lake County Division of Transportation operates on five-year plan that is updated annually. Schneider is expected to present the next five-year plan on June 3.
The current version was based on the county's receiving nearly $11 million every year in motor fuel tax, Schneider said.
That amount swelled to an estimated $16 million annually with the introduction last fall of the Rebuild Illinois capital program. But as government entities throughout the state revise revenue and spending plans in the COVID-19 era, a drop of 20% to 30% in that funding source is expected.
"We're basically right back to where we originally planned to be" with motor fuel tax funding, Schneider said.
"The program we laid out and planned for we want to deliver."
That means projects like a roundabout at Wadsworth Road and Dilleys Road, which will require a 90-day closure of the intersection as well as the replacement of three culverts on Midlothian Road in Mundelein, will proceed this year.
Looking ahead, several other projects are still on the radar for next year and beyond. Those include: • Replacing the Stearns School Road bridge over I-94 in Gurnee. The work planned for 2021 involves widening Stearns School from two to three lanes, with a new bike path on the north side. The project also involves lengthening the bridge to allow for future tollway widening.
• Improving angled intersections on Darrell Road at Case/Neville roads; Dowell Road and Fisher Road in Island Lake and Wauconda Township. The project envisions installing roundabouts at each intersection, with construction in 2022 or 2023.
• Rebuilding and other improvements on Deerfield Parkway/Road from Krause Drive to Saunders Road in Buffalo Grove, Riverwoods and Deerfield. The project expected to be bid in 2023 would involve widening a two-mile section from Saunders to Milwaukee Avenue and provide bike path connections.
• Realigning Winchester Road at Route 83 near Grayslake. Construction is targeted for 2022.