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.
The most insightful comment was made by Congressman 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.
State Rep. Suzanne Ness, a former member of the McHenry County Board, told of approval of the bus stop shelter across Algonquin Road.
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.
In additiion to the custom-made ribbon, attendees had cookies made especially for the occasion.
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!
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.