No spring break from road construction for Lake County drivers
You may be stuck inside for the most part, but if there is a reason to drive in Lake County don't expect a break from road work.
In fact, a full slate of projects big and small, including $80 million in work carried over from last year, have either started for the season or will begin soon.
And once the asphalt plants fire up in mid-April, street grinding and resurfacing projects will be popping up as well. That will include more than three miles of Butterfield Road from Route 176 in Libertyville to Route 45 in Vernon Hills.
Road construction is considered an essential operation and will continue during Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order. It's scheduled to end April 7 but is likely to be extended.
The Illinois Department of Transportation also is open for business. Maintenance and operations staff remain on duty and there are no plans to stop or suspend construction because of the health crisis, according to the agency.
In Lake County, the work will proceed as planned, according to Alex Carr, spokesman for the Lake County Division of Transportation.
None of the county's contractors have reported delays or changes as a result of COVID-19, but it's a fluid situation to be monitored, he added.
One large new project scheduled to begin in April is the $21.6 million reconstruction of Buffalo Grove Road from Deerfield Parkway to Route 22 in the southern part of the county.
The road will be rebuilt and widened from one to two lanes in each direction separated by a landscaped median. The northern section from Aptakisic Road to Route 22 is planned for this year, followed by the southern section in 2021.
Carry-over projects include:
•Quentin Road from White Pine road to Route 22 in Ela Township and Kildeer. Reconstruction and widening of Quentin Road to five lanes will include a noise barrier wall and bike path.
•14th Street in North Chicago. Last year the intersection at Dugdale Road was converted to a roundabout. This year, 14th Street from Route 131 (Green Bay Road) to Jackson Street will be rebuilt using a "road diet" to reduce four lanes to three, with one lane in each direction and a center turn lane. This will make room for sidewalks on the south side and a bike path on the north side.
•Weiland Road in Buffalo Grove. Weiland Road will be rebuilt and widened from Deerfield Parkway to Woodstone Drive and from Deerfield Parkway to Aptakisic Road. The project also includes work on Aptakisic Road from Joseph Court to Bond Street.
Generally, traffic has been down from 40% to 50% on county roads the past week, according to Carr.
Does that mean a project can wrap up more quickly once it begins? Not necessarily, he said, but drivers should encounter less congestion in areas where there are lane and road closures.
Visit lakecountyil.gov and select the transportation department then roads for an interactive map of the 2020 project list.