Windy Rakow Road Ribbon Cutting

County Highway Engineer Joseph Korpalski and State Rep. Mike Tryon can be seen on the left as people waited for the ceremony to begin.

This morning’s ribbon cutting for Rakow Road had a bit better weather than the snowy day when the road was inaugurated.

McHenry County Board member Jim Heisler made a bee line to the coffee dispenser.

The sides to the tent weren’t lowered today.

Beginning the festivities, McHenry County Board Transportation Committee Chairman Anna May Miller noted she had a “wind blown” look this year. She also wore gloves.

No participation, but wind strong enough to lift the unweighted tent poles from the parking lot surface.

How strong was the wind? You can get an idea from looking at McHenry County Recorder of Deeds Phyllis Walters’ and State Rep. Mike Tryon’s hair.  Note the turned up collars.

And, it mused up more than Miller’s hair.

Transportation Committee Chairman Anna May Miller introduced County Board Chairman Ken Koehler.

Traffic on the 32,000 a day road was light between 9 and 9:30 in the morning.

Most of the crowd was warmly dressed, including ear muffs, but I saw one man in shorts.

The road is designed to handle 60,000 vehicles a day.

Phyllis Walters, the widow of James Rakow, pointed out that his last name is pronounced “Raco” with a long “a,” not “Racko.” She told a humorous story about being asked how she knew. “I’m married to him.”

The main speaker was Phyllis Walters, the wife of Jim Rakow, the man after whom the road is named.

After the ceremony, Phyllis Walters pointed out her grandchildren in the enlarged photograph.

She pointed out that she wished Congressman Don Manzullo was in attendance since he had gotten $7 million for the widening of the road put into the Federal budget.  She said she would miss having him as Congressman.

State Rep. Mike Tryon spoke next.

And, then it was off to cut the ribbon.

“These are real scissors,” McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler was heard to say.  From left to right are County Engineer Joe Korpalski, Rep. Mike Tryon, Chairman Board Chairman Ken Koehler, Transportation Committee Chairman Chair Anna May Miller, Recorder of Deeds Phyllis Walters, and Peter Austin.

No stopping traffic.

The scissors didn’t work on the first try.

This ribbon cutting was as symbolic as the ground breaking ceremony a year and a half ago.

Ken Koehler tried a second time to cut the red ribbon.

The ribbon cutting part of the ceremony did not go as planned.

The third time was not the charm for the Rakow Road ribbon cutting.

By this time I was laughing my head off.

It was time to bring the local expert in ribbon cuttings in for assistance. Gary Reece, Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive came forward to offer advice.

I was asking,  “Is anyone getting video of this?”

The angle with which one applies the scissors seems key to success in cutting ribbons.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Still trying to cut that *x@# red ribbon.

And the wind kept blowing.

Try, try, try again.

I was laughing so hard, had I had a camera with film, the photos would have been fuzzy.

Can you spell “frustration?”

Maybe you had to be there to enjoy the spectacle.


I’m sure the guys who did the work were amused.

Standing at the back of the crowd where the ones who were responsible for the construction.

Afterward, there was a rush to the inside of one of the businesses in the at least half empty strip mall which has to have been hurt by the two construction seasons.

Phyllis Walters ended up with the Rakow Road red ribbon wrapped around her neck.

Now maybe the at least half empty strip mall at the intersection of McHenry Avenue and Rakow Road will find some tenants.

The strip mall where McHenry Avenue meets Rakow Road has had a hard time renting space in 2011 and 2012 during the widening of highway.


Windy Rakow Road Ribbon Cutting — 3 Comments

  1. I’ve read some complaints in the NW Herald about this project and the inconvenience it caused motorists.

    I for one will say everyone involved with the construction did a great job!

    The general public was kept well informed of the progress and traffic did continue to flow at the reduced speed most of the time.

    It’s too bad that a person doing the construction zone speed limit of 35 mph seemed to be risking their lives.

    The police departments didn’t seem to do a very good job protecting the motorists and the construction workers.

    It was like a race track sometimes.

    I wonder how long it will take before the traffic starts backing up again?

  2. What a bunch of a s s hats! (Except the guys who actually built it.)

    You can tell the construction guys are trying not to laugh on camera at this pack of nerds!

  3. This is the type of waste that needs to stop.

    I have no problem with fixing the road (should have been done a long time ago quite honestly), but why have a ribbon cutting event for doing their job?

    If my company had a ribbon cutting event when we did “bigger” projects then we would go broke!

    I guess that is the difference between having limited and unlimited funds.

    By the way, I think the police did a good job with this construction zone.

    Yes people did drive a little fast, but it was rare that I didn’t see someone pulled over for speeding or cell phone use (people will never learn).

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