McHenry Blacktop Lumberjacks Target Canopy

Well, they’re not quite lumberjacks, but they’re as close as we come.

If you haven’t driven on the road between Crystal Lake and McHenry, you are going to find it a lot more light next time around.

The tree canopy will be missing when you pass get near Edgewood south of the ā€œsā€ curve.

The trunks still stand, but the trees have been topped by the tree trimmers.


Two reasons, according to a supervisor from the tree removal company.

There is going to be a new Commonwealth line, presumably bigger than the one there now.

And, he said the McHenry Blacktop, as we Crystal Lakers call it, is going to be widened.

Checking with what used to be called the McHenry County Highway Department led me to the five-year plan.

All sorts of interesting stuff in there, including this about the Crystal Lake Blacktop, if you are from McHenry. Go to the operational improvements section and you’ll find this:

Walkup Road Operational Improvements (TIP#11-03-0019) This funding is for operational improvements to 5.0 miles of Walkup Road in the City of Crystal Lake, the Village of Bull Valley, the City of McHenry, and Nunda Township from Illinois Route 176 to Bull Valley Road. Improvements will likely include but not be limited to the construction of a continuous center left turn lane, a new bike path, roadway resurfacing, and intersection improvements. Total Phase I and Phase II Engineering initiated prior to 2009 will cost approximately $2,400,000. Land acquisition initiated prior to 2009 will cost approximately $3,750,000.

Construction Engineering and Construction are estimated to cost $23,000,000. At this time, sufficient funding to make improvements up to Cyrstal Springs Road $14,656,000 has been identified. Additional funding will be sought.

Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds ($8,471,601) will be used to offset no more than 80% of total costs. The State of Illinois will be conducting the letting for this project. The State will pay contract amounts before sending McHenry County a bill.

If you have skipped that long section, the guts of it are that a left-turn lane will be built from Route 176 to Crystal Springs Road, but the plan is to widen Walkup Avenue Road all the way to Bull Valley Road in McHenry.

I was told that the oaks hanging over the road near the church would remain, that the road would be moved east to allow that.

We’ll see.

With the growth requiring widening the road for a left turn lane and all the empty farmland between Crystal Lake and McHenry, it is easy to envision the need for a five-lane road here.

Then, there will certainly be nothing left of the oak canopy.

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