12 Years After Jack Franks’ $500,000 Big Check, Walkup Avenue Improvement to Start

The Crystal Lake City Council forced attorney David Gervais to donate right=of-way for the project in order to change the zoning of this property from single family residence to office. A lot of oaks will be sacrificed to widen the intersection.

During his first term in office, Democrat Speaker Mike Madigan lavished pork money on State Rep. Jack Franks.

Then, his district was north of Crystal Lake Avenue.

Franks proudly announced a $500,000 grant to improve the intersection of Route 176 and Walkup Avenue.

Photo of a big check made out to Crystal Lake.

Now, twelve years later, with House Minority Leader Lee Daniels having earmarked another $500,000 of pork to benefit Republican challenger Tom Salvi’s campaign, construction will begin.

I am sure there is a message here about government’s ability to complete improvements in a timely fashion, but I’ll bet you can phrase it better than I can.

A press release from McHenry County government:

Walkup Road Construction Slated for Spring 2012

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – The McHenry County Division of Transportation is announcing that roadway construction will begin this Spring on improvements to Walkup Road.

This project was separated into three segments. Segment 1 was completed in 2011 and segments 2 and 3 will start in 2012 and are anticipated to be open to traffic by November 2012. All work is anticipated to be completed in the Spring of 2013.

Segment 2 is the intersection of Walkup Road at Illinois Route 176.

Segment 3 is from Crystal Springs Road to Bull Valley Road.

The first segment, now completed, was from Live Oak Road to Crystal Springs Road.

The upcoming improvements for Segments 2 and 3 will address congestion and safety along the Walkup Road corridor and at the Illinois Route 176 intersection. Improvements will include:

  • Roadway widening, resurfacing and reconstruction
  • Traffic signal upgrades at the intersection of Illinois Route 176
  • New traffic signals installed at Mason Hill Road
  • Completion of the bike path connection from Illinois Route 176 to Veteran Acres Park and the bike path constructed as part of Segment 1 in 2011

This approximately $11,000,000 improvement project is being funded in part by the Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program. Local funding is also being used from the City of Crystal Lake, the McHenry County Division of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Utility relocation work is underway now and will increase as spring approaches.

A construction informational meeting will be held this Spring to outline the project in greater detail and inform local residents and business owners of the construction schedule, plans, and how they can stay informed during construction.

Visit the project website at www.walkuproad.com, connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/walkupconstruct or follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/walkupconstruct to obtain the latest project information.

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