Hearings on what to do with the intersection of Routes 31 and 62 (Algonquin Road) started after the 1998 primary election.
State legislators were reduced to spectators by the McHenry County Board, even though State taxpayers were expected to pick up a large part of the cost. (The County Board did, howver, place the campaign manager of my 1996 opponent, a man from Union, Illinois, on the committee.)
To the surprise of many, the option that had been advanced by Establishment types for years and years–a bridge across the Fox River at Haeger’s Bend–was not recommended.
Growth in Lake in the Hills and Huntley west of Route 31 during the 1990’s had changed the traffic pattern from what most older-timers perceived (down Rt. 31, turning left on Rt. 62 and vice versa) to East-West.
The most that could be justified in the way of a new bridge across the Fox ending up at about where the Northwest Herald building was a two-laner.
Instead, the final report advised building a new by-pass west of Downtown Algonquin.
Trucks would be forced to go west of the current Route 31 down to Algonquin Road, where, if they wanted to go east, they would have to turn onto Algonquin Road to get through the old intersection.
Signs have recently showed up telling motorists that Monday the new bypass will be open for traffic.
It will be interesting to see how traffic patterns will change.
My memory tells me that the east-west light will be green longer and the north-south light shorter.
The goal is a more efficient intersection.
For the plan to work at its best, however, the Bolz Road Bridge will have to be built south of the McHenry-Kane County line.
Presumably, that will drain some traffic from Algnoquin Road.