If you take Route 31 south into Algonquin and look to the right, you’ll see earth moving equipment where the Western Bypass will take traffic down to Algonquin Road and around Downtown Algonquin.
Archive for the ‘Algonquin Bypass’
A press release from Congressman Don Manzullo:
Manzullo, Durbin Hail Start of Algonquin Western Bypass Project
[ALGONQUIN] U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said the strong resolve of local officials, business leaders and frustrated motorists led to today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the most awaited road construction project in McHenry County history – the $80 million Western Bypass in Algonquin.
On the books for decades, the project to solve gridlock at Routes 31 and 62 in downtown Algonquin broke ground today amid fanfare and the relief that the long-delayed project will finally be built.
The project received two large infusions of federal funding over the years.
Manzullo secured $9 million in the 1998 federal transportation bill, TEA-21, and Durbin and Manzullo worked together to secure $10 million in the 2005 federal transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU.
Manzullo thanked U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, State Senator Pam Althoff, State Rep. Mike Tryon, County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, Algonquin Mayor John Schmitt, the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, and others for their determination to get the Western Bypass approved and funded.
Manzullo also thanked the “Road Warriors,” the conglomeration of local political, business and community groups that came together to lobby the State of Illinois for McHenry County’s fair share of road construction dollars in 2007 after Gov. Blagojevich stripped all the previously approved Western Bypass money from the state’s road construction plan.
“Finally! Due to a lot of hard work for many years by all the people here today, McHenry County motorists will soon experience relief from the horrific gridlock that has plagued the corner of Routes 31 and 62 in downtown Algonquin for decades,” Manzullo said.
“This project has long been my number one priority for McHenry County, and I’m excited to see it finally fulfilled. I only wish my good friend, the late Bill Dwyer who did so much to bring us to this day, could be with us to celebrate.”
Durbin added, “As the east-west gateway to McHenry County, the Route 31-Route 62 intersection has a well-deserved reputation as the most congested intersection in the region.
“It’s been that way for more than 20 years and the county’s population continues to grow.
“The Bypass will go a long way toward alleviating the traffic congestion that has restricted access to the businesses and shops in Algonquin’s Old Town District. As everyone gathered here today knows, this project has seen a lot of ups and downs over the years.
“I offer a special salute to Rep. Manzullo for his determination over the course of 15 years to make this project a reality.
“I was happy to help along the way and am excited to be here today as we kick off a project that has been talked about since 1952.”
The new bypass road will start at Route 31 south of Virginia Road in Crystal Lake, veer southwest into the gravel pit, cross over Algonquin Road near the Algonquin post office, veer southeast and connect back with Route 31 near Huntington Drive.
It will remove the majority of north-south traffic from the Route 31-Route 62 intersection, allowing officials to double-time the traffic signals at the intersection to significantly improve east-west traffic flow on Route 62 and eliminate the mile-long backups motorists face during rush hour.
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Photos provided by Congressman Manzullo’s office.
Here’s an update from Bradford W. Meador, Manager, Property Management, Great Lakes Facilities Service Office, on what’s happening with the disagreement between the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Postal System about the taking of parking spaces from the Algonquin Post Office to construct the Route 31 Bypass around Downtown Algonquin:
“The issues discussed in my last email still remain unresolved.
“The recent meeting a couple weeks ago between
- the U S Postal Service officials,
- IDOT officials and
- staff members of Senator Durbin’s and Kirk’s offices
did not resolve anything.
“I am advised that the issue has been elevated to the Post Master General (PMG) of the Postal Service for further discussion between the Senators’ offices and the PMG.
“The Postal Service has been advising IDOT since 1995 that their plan doesn’t work for the Algonquin, IL MPO site but to no avail.
“IDOT has moved ahead with their concept to provide the bypass as it accommodates their design.
“My observation is that in light of the many issues currently being presented to Congress for the future of the Postal Service there may be some compromises to accommodate many agendas.”
In answer to a question, Meador added,
“Algonquin and the surrounding area will continue to grow.
“The need for land area to add parking for the postal vehicles and the employees’ cars is needed.
“IDOT is taking land area that would preclude that ability.
“The current parking needs can be met with some design changes but it is the long term concern that is an issue for the postal service in addition to ingress/egress on Route 62.”
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The other report on IDOT’s problems obtaining right-of-way can be found here.
I’ve been wondering why the Algonquin By-Pass is proceeding so slowly.
Wish I could remember where I read that the Illinois Department of Transportation now has concluded it needs part of the Algonquin Post Office property.
Regardless, I decided to ask the Postal System for its viewpoint.
Here’s Bradford W. Meador Manager, Property Management, Great Lakes Facilities Service Office, wrote me (formatting by me):
“The IDOT proposal for both
- permanent taking, permanent easement and t
- emporary easement
of the postal service site are of concern to the postal service.
“At the moment, clarification is needed from IDOT as to why a permanent easement of almost one acre is needed for a portion of the site to the rear. T
“The permanent taking which is in two locations of the postal service site is understood but not necessarily acceptable.
“One area of permanent taking in the rear of the site precludes any opportunity for parking expansion in the future for postal vehicles.
“The portion of the permanent taking with frontage on Route 62 removes the ability for customers and carriers to make a left turn on to Route 62 since a median is proposed.
“However, there is currently an ingress curb cut on the west end of the postal service site that will be retained and allow left turns on to Route 62 after the current customer parking is changed to 90 degree parking from angled parking.
“The current angled customer parking routes customers to the east egress point.
“Thus, left turns on to Route 62 will be one location rather than two which may create a longer exit time and potential safety issues for customers and postal vehicles.
“The temporary easement for five years is for most of the customer parking in the front of the Main Post Office which will create a challenge for customer parking during those five years.
“The next step in this process will be to clarify these concerns to IDOT and meet to resolve how to move forward since IDOT can not apply condemnation rights against the U S Postal Service.”
Algonquin Bypass to Begin, Plus Route 14 Crystal Lake to Woodstock and Route 47 and Tollway Makeovers Set
$92 million is earmarked for the Algonquin Bypass. When first proposed it would have cost half that much.
$63 million will be spent to make Route 14 four lanes all the way from Crystal Lake to Woodstock, where it will link up with the bypass constructed by Governor William Stratton while he was in office fifty-some years ago.
$16.6 million will go toward reconstructing the interchange at Route 47 and I-90 in Huntley, presumably to allow traffic to get on the Interstate going west to Rockford and to allow eastbound traffic to get off at Huntley.
This is part of a $12.8 billion highway program unveiled by Governor Pat Quinn yesterday.