Fleming Road Update – Meeting of Citizens with McDOT

I’ve been dropping the ball in keeping people update on what is happening regarding Fleming Road.

After hearing the comments of County Board candidates who have personally dealt with the McHenry County Department of Transportation, I believe residents need more information about how it operates.

Below is a summary of the CAG meeting on Thursday afternoon, where the CAG reached consensus on a rehabilitation method for Fleming Road that will stay within the existing footprint and profile with minimal disruption. More information about the impact on our trees will be coming in a day or two.

Summary of CAG #6, February 16, 2012:

Initial discussion was focused on whether or not they could do a reconstruction (rebuild the entire base) to give us the most longevity, and still stay in the same footprint.

The answer is yes they can, but no they can’t.

A seasonal sign on Fleming Road worth seeing.

Yes they can do that physically, but no they can’t because the standards that apply when reconstruction is used require that the footprint and profile be changed and that is what we have been fighting.

We sparred about standards for a while until they convinced us that three specific design elements

  • clear zone,
  • cross slope and
  • side slopes

would not be granted variances to the standards even if applied for – so any base reconstruction would destroy the footprint and profile of the road and require acquisition of right-of-way.

Discussion then turned to Interim #2, Cold in-place recycling.

Cold in-place recycling is a rehabilitation method and does not require that the standards be adhered to.

The process requires a “train” of vehicles that go straight down the road pictured in the attached illustration. (More detail is in the technical memo.)

The biggest fear of residents was that Fleming Road would become an eastern truck bypass for Woodstock traffic.

One lane of the road is completed and then the other. There will be a cure period where only local traffic will have access prior to a resurfacing over the rehabilitated material. More core borings will be done first to determine the extent of areas where the base may not be stable enough for this process and those areas will be addressed and refurbished.

After the work is done, the shoulders will be restored at their original width with aggregate or by use of the safety edge, a minimally disruptive shoulder treatment we have been asking them to consider.

NO right-of-way will be acquired.

The footprint and profile of Fleming Road will not be altered. The depth of cut into the pavement will vary from 4 and 6 inches depending on base stability, so we will not see a lot of tree die off.

The finished road will have an 8-10 year initial pavement life projection, a second phase of resurfacing in 4 – 7 years and the ability to continually repeat the process to recycle the road and refurbish the base into the future.

After a long discussion this option gained consensus of the group.

The CAG, MCDOT Engineers, TranSystems design consultants and county board members concurred on the desire for this to be an on-going solution for Fleming Road.

(Interim #1 –simple resurfacing – was not discussed except in passing as it would only give us a 3-4 year life before we would all be back at the table again.)

The discussion now goes to the Transportation Committee for final direction to MCDOT, after which MCDOT needs 2-3 months to draw up the plans. Then they will begin the process of interviewing contractors with skill in the cold in-place process.

If there is time, the work will be done this year, if not, next year. We will continue to monitor throughout the plan development, interviewing and actual construction phases of the project.

At the end of the meeting Paula Yensen, Transportation Committee Vice Chair, stated that the Context Sensitive Solutions process for road maintenance would be clarified and include a section on a new road classification called Natural Heritage Corridor. We hope to be invited to participate in the development of this classification.

Emily Berendt

Fleming Road Alliance Organizing Committee
Ed Bennett, Mary Moltman, Lisa Rhoades, Marti Jadd, Linda Ramsey. Stanley Jarosz, Phyllis Keinz, Kevin Keesee
Emily Berendt, Deb Staley, Bjorn Mattsson


Fleming Road Update – Meeting of Citizens with McDOT — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks to everyone for this update.

    Perhaps all the hard work on the Fleming and Alden Roads issues can be advanced as exemplars for legislation to preserve rural byways throughout Illinois.

    In particular — has the Wisconsin “Rustic Roads” program already been discussed? If not, then it’s a project that should be replicated here. Our McHenry County state legislators should take the lead.

    Absent state action along these lines, I will (if elected to the county board) promote a county ordinance with similar effect.

    Even Wisconsin DOT calls Rustic Roads “a positive step backward.” For more information, see http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/scenic/rusticroads.htm

  2. Kudos to Emily Berendt for working her butt off for this cause!

  3. The arrogance of these people that think Fleming is THEIR ROAD.

    It is a public road and therefore should be built to sustain the traffic and widened to Federal standards.

    Same goes for ALDEN Rd. Have you noticed the lack of any shoulders on this ( Alden) road because it is so narrow?

    Drive over the fog line and you’re in the gravel.

    Local zealots, nothing more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *