A Much Needed Improvement, a Long Time in the Making
The final design of the IL Route 31 Algonquin Western Bypass was a result of many years of planning and coordination with several agencies including the Illinois Department of Transportation, the McHenry County Division of Transportation, the US Army Corps of Engineer, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the McHenry County Conservation District and the Village of Algonquin. The 2.5 mile segment of this principal arterial roadway was constructed along a new alignment through an existing gravel mining operation. The final project scope of work was a result of a Congestion Mitigation Feasibility Study initiated in 1996 to develop solutions to the congestion experienced at the IL Route 62/IL Route 31 intersection in the downtown district of the Village of Algonquin. The study included reviewing traffic which passed through the communities of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary and Crystal Lake. The final alignment of the Western Algonquin Bypass provided the most capacity to handle traffic with the least impacts on the communities involved.
Complex Site Preparations
In order to build the proposed improvement, four contracts had to be let; building demolition, hazardous materials mitigation, mass grading, and roadway construction. Separate PS & E’s were developed for each contract. Due to the manufacturing that took place on some of the acquired parcels, the presence of heavy metals was found in the soil during the Preliminary Environmental Site Assessment (PESA) and Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) which required including clean up with the proposed improvement. The mass grading contract was let in advance of the Roadway Construction Contract. The contract consisted of the grading needed to prepare for the proposed new four lane divided roadway. This work, north of Algonquin Road, included storm sewer and culvert removal, tree removal, installation of storm sewers and drainage structures, detention basin construction, earthwork and restoration of disturbed areas to prevent erosion.
A Multi-faceted Project
The roadway construction contract included a new four lane divided highway and diamond interchange at Algonquin Road, as well as four new bridges, numerous retaining walls, noise walls, new traffic signals at five intersections, roadway lighting, storm sewers, and utility improvements for the Village. The Village of Algonquin’s Towne Park was reconfigured as part of the contract and included many enhancements. Crystal Creek was relocated back to its natural alignment within Towne Park. The new bridges were designed with aesthetic elements and decorative lighting and are all within view of the park. The McHenry County Conservation District multi-use path was realigned to now wind through Towne Park providing its users with parking, restrooms, benches and drinking fountains. Also, the improvements also included a new 100-stall parking lot.
Improving Capacity for Years to Come
The final project, completed in 2014, provided a grade separated interchange at IL Route 62. Traffic signal timing was revised to allow more green time on IL Route 62 improving traffic flow dramatically along both routes and eliminating the typical 15-minute intersection delays experienced during the peak travel periods. Traffic flow through downtown was improved and heavy truck traffic was moved off of Main Street. The improvement increased capacity, minimized operational and safety deficiencies, and satisfied travel demands projected to 2030 within the corridor.
This Project Incorporates the Following:
- Increasing traffic capacity while minimizing community impact
- Industrial site clean up
- Multiple interrelated contracts
- Creek relocation
- Grade separation
- Parking lot design
- Meeting travel demands to 2030
Scope of Services
- Roadway and Highway Design
- Drainage Design
- Topographic Survey
- Traffic Signal and Signal System Design
- Lighting Design
- Geotechnical Investigation
- Pavement Design
- Interagency Coordination
- Preparation of Contract Plans,
- Specifications, and Estimates
- Highway Bridges
- Bikeway and Pedestrian Facility Design
- Type, Size, and Location Drawings