Yesterday, McHenry County Blog brought the County Board’s consideration of the $9 million Phase II contract up to the debate on the Randall Road resolution.
Transportation Chairwoman Anna May Miller read a prepared statement which referred to a poll on Randall Road that she (or her campaign committee) paid for. Although the number of participants was not revealed, 90.7% said that it took too long to get through Algonquin Road. (Poll results will be published Saturday.)
Miller extolled the process, pointing to the Alden and Flemming Road experiences as “shining examples of how the process works.”
Donna Kurtz moved to remove the $1.1 million in community outreach money which she argued was for “an admittedly Continuous Flow Intersection-oriented group of people running the program.”
The amount “scares the bejesus out of me,” she said.
“1.1 million is just an outstanding number, completely out of line with what is needed–12% of the entire project.”
She suggested there was “a sinister side.” The $1.1 million could easily be used to undermine the municipal officials.
“They can’t compete with that.”
She then pointed to the twelve Board members in Districts 1, 2 and 5 who represented part of Lake in the Hills.
The motion was defeated 15-6.
To the main motion, Kurtz pointed out that the performance numbers show “very little difference between” a conventional two left turn lanes and a CFI.
“Why are we even considering the most expensive golden Rolls Royce option?”
She pointed out the number of trustees in Lake in the Hills and Algonquin favoring the left turn lane option.
“I’m convinced we are looking at far more [money] than what McDOT has presented.
She then cited traffic reduction figures for each of the two intersection options.
They showed “a minute and a half difference.
- 62% reduction in time to drive from Ackman to County Line Road with the two left lane alternative
- 68% reduction with a Continuous Flow Intersection
She argued that the left lane option would result in “a whole lot less aggravation and [more] unity.
“Let’s have a more specific contract with no CFI as an option.”
“We’re not voting on a CFI,” interjected Board Chairwoman Tina Hill, back from convalescence.
Ersel Schuster was interested in a closer look at the numbers.
She observed that the corridor is “a text book case for ‘how not to build a community… and how not to build a road.’
“Randall Road was never planned nor intended to have curb cuts and stop lights every few yards. It was designated a limited access highway,” she continued.
“Over the years a frontage road was dropped.
“Folk, this county board–over the years–bent at every nudge, giving in and allowing Randall Road to become another road filled with stop lights and other curb cuts.
“Why, in the heavily populated areas to our east, do we see similar highways with more intersection, yet they handle that traffic in an orderly manner?
“What is different about McHenry County?
“Could this be another one of those cases where we’re bound and determined to make the public pay for our ability to ‘puff up our chests’ and crow about being ‘first’” at doing something… i.e. this CFI” Schuster continued.
“As many times as I am on Randall Road, rarely have I had to sit in a turn lane at Randall & Algonquin Roads for 2 light changes–even during peak rush hour.”
“At some point we have to say, ‘Just live with it.'”
She predicted the final price of the project would be double the $115 million talked about now.
Then came the bomb shell:
I hesitate to end on this note, but I must say that I am deeply distressed at what I see as the connections between:
- political donations that we know about
- roads & bridges named after certain folks to garner support or
- job/employment conflicts circling like vultures around these projects and
- clearly for personal gain in contracts and for contractors who make donations to public officials…those very folks spearheading & working for these projects
“I gave up driving up and down Randall road when [the] Costco [light] went it,” Joe Gottemoller explained.
“It’s quicker to take Route 457 to 176 to Walkup [from the Tollway]. It’s always a minute or two shorter.”
He remembered how he could drive to the Tollway on Randall in sixteen minutes when it opened.
“You can’t get down Randall Road in sixteen minutes with sirens on.”
He pointed out that property covenants prevent the Bank of America on the corner of Algonquin and Randall from having an entrance from the shopping center behind it.
As far as shoppers go, Gottemoller pointed out, “There’s competitor shopping all over the county.”
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