Hearings scheduled for 2040 Transportation plan

Improvements to the county’s main arterial roads and Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest Line top the wants and needs list for McHenry County’s proposed new long-range transportation plan.

County staff members are curious what you think of it.

Six public hearings throughout the county are scheduled this month so residents can see the draft version of the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan for themselves and offer their opinions.

The plan’s overall goals for transportation infrastructure through 2040 are to decrease congestion, make transportation safer, increase choices, provide mobility for all residents and preserve the environment.

The plan highlights capacity and operational improvements for Route 47 through Woodstock and between Woodstock and Huntley, Route 31 in McHenry and between McHenry and Crystal Lake, Route 14 from Woodstock to Fox River Grove, Route 12 in Richmond and between Richmond and Fox Lake, and Randall Road between Crystal Lake and Algonquin.

“The pressure to accommodate the nearly 100,000 workers commuting out of the county, over 40,000 workers coming into the county and 50,000 workers commuting within the county has created a demand to widen highways ­everywhere and to expand commuter rail service to new areas. As these work pattern trends continue, the pressure on the existing transportation network to accommodate conflicting flows will grow more difficult to address,” the draft states.

Population and employment projections from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning estimate the number of congested lane miles experienced by McHenry County’s drivers will about double during peak travel times. Put another way, a commute that took 30 minutes in 2000 will average 55 minutes by 2040, according to the draft plan.

Mass-transit improvements include increased Metra service, new stations in Woodstock, Prairie Grove and Johnsburg, and new rail yards in Woodstock and Johnsburg.

The county’s long-range plan is developed by the McHenry County Division of Transportation with the guidance of the McHenry County Board Transportation Committee. The last long-range plan adopted in 2005 helped with the implementation of the finished widenings of Rakow and Walkup roads, and the ongoing Western Algonquin Bypass and Route 47-Interstate 90 exchange work.

On the Net
You can learn more about the McHenry County 2040 Long-Range Transportation Plan at www.2040mchenrycountyplan.org.

If you go
McHenry County is hosting six public hearings this month to present the draft version of the plan:

• 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday
Lake in the Hills Village Hall
600 Harvest Gate
• 1 to 5 p.m. Friday
Woodstock Opera House
121 E. Van Buren St.
• 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12
Harvard Diggins Library
900 E. McKinley St.
• 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14
Marengo City Hall
132 E. Prairie St.
• 3 to 7 p.m, Friday, Nov. 15
Crystal Lake City Hall
100 W. Woodstock St.
• 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18
McHenry Township Hall
3703 N. Richmond Road, Johnsburg