Work to replace awkward Grayslake intersection set to begin this year

After a nearly 10-year wait for funding, a $30 million state project to eliminate the wonky intersection of routes 83 and 137 in Grayslake and construct a safer alternate nearby will begin this summer.

The two state roads currently intersect near a boat dealership about a quarter-mile south of Route 120. Because of the way the roads are angled, drivers heading north on Route 83 who continue north on Ivanhoe Road or make a slight left to get on West Buckley Road have to practically drive along the railroad tracks there rather than straight over them.

According to state records, the unusual intersection has been that way since at least 1927, said Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman Maria Castaneda said.

Instead of having Route 83 continuing north to the current intersection, the project will realign the road to form a new four-way intersection with Route 137 and Atkinson Road. Once the new intersection is in place, workers will install two cul-de-sacs along the old stretch of Route 83 so it is no longer usable.

“The project will increase capacity and improve safety and efficiency for the more than 25,500 motorists who use both Illinois 83 and Illinois 137 at this intersection each day,” Castaneda said.

Grayslake will pay about $1.6 million of the project's cost, said Associate Village Manager Chase Muscato.

Castaneda said the state will put the project out to bid April 28. Construction is expected to begin about two months later.

State engineers began designing the plan in August 2013, but there wasn't funding at the time to start work.

“In the past, due to limited funding, the department's focus was on repairing and maintaining, with limited ability to advance larger more complex and more costly projects,” Castaneda said.

The 2019 passage of the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan has allowed this and many other IDOT projects to move forward, she added.

The project also was made possible by a $9.1 million village construction project to extend Atkinson to Route 137 in 2013, Muscato said. The cost was covered in part by a $4.8 million federal grant and a $300,000 state grant. The effort later was named was named “Project of the Year” by the American Public Works Association.

  Work to replace the awkward intersection of routes 83 and 137 in Grayslake will get underway this summer. Paul Valade/
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