Ribbon Cutting for Randall Road Widening

McHenry County Board members who gathered for the ribbon cutting. County Highway Engineer Joe Korpalski weilds the scissors.

The public officials gathered to celebrate the finising of the Randall/Algonquin Road widening were not brave enough to stretch the custom-made ribbon across the right-of-way.

The project cost $47 million.

It took three years to complete.

Those listening to the speeches by County Board Chairman Mike Buehler, County Highway Engineer Joe Korpalski, Congressman Sean Casten and State Rep. Suzanne Ness.

The most insightful comment was made by Congressman Sean Casten.

Sean Casten

He pointed out that many people who had a significant role in bringing the project to fruition were not present for the ribbon cutting.

He specifically mentioned former Village President John Schmitt, but, since he has held office less than the three years during which the roadwork was completed, he could be referring to his predecessor Peter Roskam.

Casten also said that earmarks by another name (community projects?) are back in appropriations bills and that he has inserted money for more improvements of Randall Road in the House bill (which he was not sure would withstand a Senate vote).

County Highway Engineer Joe Korpalski reviewed the history of the project, which stretches back about ten years.

No new trafffic study has been conducted, but he told me that on Saturday and Sunday all traffic made it through the intersection in one traffic signal cycle.

Algonqun village officials lined up for photos in front of the interestion of Randall and Algonquin Roads.

Algonquin Village Officials.

State Rep. Suzanne Ness, a former member of the McHenry County Board, told of approval of the bus stop shelter across Algonquin Road.

New bus shelter on Randall Road outh of Algonquin Road in Lake in the Hills

She was stimulated to ask whether such a structure would be there when she saw an elderly woman waiting in the snowy mud for a Pace bus.

There is also a sidewalk to accomodate walkers and bicyclers.

A sidewalk is on the east side of Ranfall Road.

In additiion to the custom-made ribbon, attendees had cookies made especially for the occasion.

Randle Rood cookie.

Here is McHenry County Board Chirman Mike Buehler’s speech:

September 15 th Randall Road Remarks

Good Morning! I’d like to thank Congressional Representative Sean Casten, Illinois Representative Suzanne Ness, Village President Debby Sosine of Algonquin, County Board members, and all our guests for coming out today to celebrate the official opening of Randall Road.

Randall Road- that feels great to say. Before this project, I used to think of it as Randall Parking Lot, not Randall Road.

Now I can get my groceries home and have them still be cold!

Mike Buelhler

In all seriousness, today is a proud day for McHenry County.

The expansion of Randall Road is by far the most ambitious project the McHenry County Division of Transportation has ever undertaken.

Beginning in 2013, this project has taken eight years to come to fruition (three of which were road construction).

I’ll mention that Dr Yensen of the county board brought to my attention, that the Randall Road
conversation goes all the way back to a conversation with Secretary of Transportation Raymond LaHood when he visited McHenry County.

It has spanned a staggering 14 lane miles of new concrete pavement requiring the collaboration of county, federal, and municipal governments.

And then of course, there was the $45 million price tag.

Needless to say, this project would not have been possible without the financial backing of the Federal Government, for which McHenry County is grateful.

But what makes this project truly ambitious is the dedication of the essential workers who poured concrete in April of 2020 while the rest of the state was hunkered down against a global pandemic

This project persisted through lockdowns, national material shortages and the uncertainties of a novel disease.

And against all odds, we now have a widened major thoroughfare, which was completed on schedule. Congratulations to Baxter & Woodman, Plote Construction, and county staff for accomplishing this
task given the challenges faced!

Not only has the congestion been alleviated, but area businesses are more accessible–not just by car but by foot and bicycle!

Thanks to the collaboration with the Village of Algonquin, our residents now have a more walkable community due to the underpass installed just south of Bunker Hill and Huntington Drive.

This underpass connects nearby paths to the freshly poured sidewalk and multi-use paths running along the Randall Road expansion.

This accessibility is timely and essential, so our brick and mortar businesses can rebound–not just from the COVID shutdowns–but from the gravitation to online shopping the pandemic has encouraged.

This reinvestment in our businesses and local employers promises to help revitalize our community and enhance McHenry County’s reputation as a great place to live and do business.

On behalf of McHenry County, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has sacrificed to make the Randall Road expansion possible.

From our financial partners in the Federal Government to the Villages of Lake in the Hills and Algonquin, to our consultants, to our residents who patiently endured three years of construction–thank you.

And to our dedicated employees at the McHenry County Division of Transportation, thank you for your hard work and perseverance.

This would not be possible without you.

With that, I’ll turn the floor over to our County Engineer, Joe Korpalski, who would like to say a few words.


Ribbon Cutting for Randall Road Widening — 21 Comments

  1. Have avoided that road like the plague for 3 years–had to take it last Friday night from 72 to Rakow to 31—I flew, the lights are timed better, lanes wider, traffic moved it seemed for the first time in 15 years.

    Good job, but what took so freaking long?

  2. Well what is it?

    A sugar cookie?

    A pecan sandy?

    Hopefully not one of those funky cannabis cookies, right, Cal.

    eh eh?

    ah hahahahaha!

    Has the mystery been solved yet?

    Has anybody ever gotten Sean Casten and James Marter confused?

    You scroll through the page at 2 in the morning and tell me there isn’t a slight resemblance…. go ahead….

  3. Only politicians would take credit for a boondoggle project that cost too much, took too long, and adversely affected too many private businesses.

    They should be hanging their heads in disgrace, not cutting ribbons.

    Bill Dwyer is the most overrated community member – he was a “nice guy”, but he was also a total swamp creature with no principles.

  4. If it was a township highway, it would have been completed in a quarter of the time and at 21% of the cost.

  5. Cal, WHAT?
    “He specifically mentioned former Village President John Schmitt, but, since he has held office less than the three years during which the roadwork was completed, he could be referring to his predecessor Peter Roskam.”

    Village President John Schmitt of Algonquin died July 2020.

    Peter Roskam ex Congressman, may have helped with Fed funding the project.

    Wow seek help friend.

  6. Townships R Great – You forgot that it would also fall apart in about 6 months.

  7. So, you are complaining that my he reference is ambiguous?

    Probably correct.

    I was referring to Casten.

  8. What did Bill Dwyer have to do with the Randall Road project?

  9. Had Randall road been a township road, it would have ceased to be a township road upon being incorporated into the various municipalities that line its route and those municipalities would have been repsonsible, along with whatever federal and state grant money they could obtain, to pay for the improvements.

    However, because it was a county road, the county was on the hook for most of this.

    The municipaliies collected developer impact fees when the businesses were built and received the lion’s share of the sales tax revenues, but did not have to kick in for the improvements and will now continue to collect the overwhelming majority of the sales tax revenues while avoiding having to have had to pay for the road.

    There are many roads like this.

    The South end of Crystal Lake has a number of roads that are owned by the county and which the county taxpayers have to pay to maintain and improve even though they may never use them.

    At least Randall is potentially used by people from outside of the immediate area to come up from the Tollway or to shop.

    Perhaps Cal could publish a map showing all of the county owned roads that are now located entirely within municipal boundaries the all of the residents of the county are on the hook forever to maintain and improve.

  10. “Jim” doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Obviously he’s a long time CL resident who adores the the old country clubbers who used to run McHenry County.

    He always supports the old timers who did absolutely nothing other than drink their cocktails well at the club.

  11. History – Did Randall Road northbound from the Tollway end at a tee at Algonquin road many, many years ago?

    What has development wrought?

  12. bred: I recall that it did.

    Also there was a diary farm on the West side and it was pretty much lined with farms all along the way until the tollway interchange was competed.

    I know one farmer who had fields on both sides and had to try to wait for a sufficient break in traffic to cross with his combine.

  13. What, no mention of President Biggest Idiot Democrats Ever Nominated’s name??

  14. You can thank an organization called ‘Voters In Action’ and Steve Willson for getting the cost down from $155 MILLION!

  15. It’s a shame that no one showed up to that event with a cartload of rotten vegetables.

  16. It did.

    When I was County Treasurer, I wrote the checks to buy the land north of Algonquin Road.

  17. Steve Willson is a genius.

    Evertsen is diarrhea.

    Buehler is a ventriloquist’s dummy and Gottemoller is his ventriloquist.

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