A communication to the McHenry County Board:
To: Ken Koehler, Chair, McHenry County Board; County Board Members
From: Fleming Road Alliance
Re: Update on Fleming Road Alliance Position on Improvements for Fleming Road.
Dear County Board Representatives:
Overview: It’s been a while since we communicated with you, so we wanted to touch base with you on our position on the proposed Fleming Road improvements.
We have been meeting as part of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) under the IDOT Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) guidelines and appreciate the willingness of the Division of Transportation to learn the process with us.
We believe that working cooperatively through the CSS process is valuable.
The unique nature of Fleming Road presents an opportunity for the MCDOT to be a leader state-wide in the application of CSS to a project and to serve as an example written up in professional journals, as well as to assure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely and efficiently.
The MCDOT stated project goal is:
To develop a preferred plan for Fleming Road which replaces the deteriorated pavement, improves safety, maintains the character of the corridor, while minimizing the disturbance to adjacent property owners.
We agree with the project goal but have different interpretations of some of the terms.
We asked during CAG #1 that mutual understanding of terms and intent be achieved to enable us all to move positively through the process to the finished product.
MCDOT held an Open House on March 23, 2010. The Fleming Road Alliance was created at that meeting from a ground swell of concern by the residents, roadway travelers and the neighboring local public. The FRA represents well over 1000 active concerned citizens.
Our initial position was based on the 400+ public comments submitted to MCDOT at the Open House. These were summarized into a survey circulated at the first Fleming Road Alliance meeting on May 5, 2010 to determine the strength of positions and priorities.
- Replace the base only where proven necessary.
- Keep the lanes the same width they are currently
- Retain the existing shoulder width in a given location
- Don’t add curbs and gutters. This is not a city street.
- Don’t add ditches. The existing drainage is working well.
- Leave the intersections at Bull Valley, Country Club Rd. and 120 as is.
- Don’t add turn lanes.
- Reduce the speed limit to 30 mph.
- Keep the posted weight limit of 6 tons per axle.
- Keep the hills and the valleys.
- Keep the curves.
- Keep all the Oaks, Hardwoods and other native trees.
- Do not dig up the daffodils. Replace any accidentally dug up with a planted double quantity.
- Respect our historic and scenic value. Make the least disturbance possible.
The FRA summarized the results of the public comment/survey as “Keep the Same Footprint”, meaning the driving lanes are striped at 10’, the total pavement width remains between 21 and 22’, the shoulders are not widened and when the contractor finishes the project, the road looks the same. We have consistently adhered to this position.
It became very clear at the FRA May 3, 2010 meeting, that an additional concern from the citizens was and is the COST of the project and undisclosed justifications. Please see
During the CAG meeting process, the consultant TranSystems first presented us with two design options. Both of these options, Options 1 & 2 were soundly rejected as they far exceeded (over-engineered) the need to meet the goal of the project.
The CAG request that a third Option be worked on as a group was not responded to.
A summary list of CAG comments and recommendations was sent to MCDOT and TranSystems at TranSystems request. TranSystems then presented Options 3 & 4 at our CAG meeting on June 8, 2011.
Of the two, Option 4 comes closer to meeting the CAG recommendations, but still raises concerns about several issues, as explained in subsequent emails.
We have learned a lot over the past year and we would like to take this opportunity to offer and explain some of our own design criteria and solutions as we work through the topics to follow. We are asking for your support.
Ed Bennett, Mary Moltman, Lisa Rhoades, Marti Jadd, Linda Ramsey, Stanley Jarosz, Phyllis Keinz, Kevin Keesee, Emily Berendt, Deb Staley,Bjorn Mattsson