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Randall Road widening project up for County Board vote

Members will consider contracts at Tuesday meeting

Published: Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 12:05 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 12:15 a.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board will vote Tuesday on whether to spend $15.9 million to design the Randall Road widening project and buy the needed land.

County Board members in three votes will decide on a $9.1 million design contract with Schaumburg-based TranSystems and a $1.75 million contract with Chicago-based Mathewson Right of Way Company to obtain the land parcels. Another vote will allocate up to $5 million to cover the land purchases themselves.

The votes will come after a presentation on the second-phase engineering to widen the major shopping corridor, and after the public comment portion in which at least one government opposed to the project’s scope – especially a proposal to build a continuous-flow intersection at Randall and Algonquin roads – will likely make their position known again.

The project, which the county’s latest five-year highway improvement plan prices at $115 million, will add capacity and improve about 3.5 miles of Randall Road from Ackman Road through Lake in the Hills to County Line Road at the Algonquin Commons shopping center in Algonquin. Plans call for widening the entire stretch to three lanes in each direction, building dual left-turn lanes and exclusive right-turn lanes at major signal intersections.

The continuous-flow intersection, bordering Lake in the Hills to the north and Algonquin to the south, is the most controversial component. At a continuous-flow intersection, left-turning vehicles start turning several hundred feet before the main intersection at a signaled crossover intersection. They head into separate lanes that allow them to turn left at the same time that other vehicles are going straight.

While the government of Lake in the Hills has criticized the entire project scope as overkill, it especially opposes a CFI, which it alleges will hurt its sales tax revenue by closing off most Randall Road access points. The village of Algonquin has been more receptive, citing congestion during peak travel hours as a real problem.

The decision on whether to go with a continuous-flow intersection is not final, but it was announced in November that $10.6 million in federal funding, or about 80 percent of the cost, has been pledged if a CFI is built.

Most of the $15.9 million pending approval Tuesday will come from the county’s state and local motor fuel tax, except for about $2.8 million for the design that will be paid from the county’s share of the Regional Transportation Authority sales tax.

All three recommendations sailed through the McHenry County Board Transportation Committee last month. The two votes for the right-of-way spending were unanimous, while the recommendation to grant the engineering contract passed, 6-1.

The county’s five-year plan anticipates construction to start in 2016 at the earliest.

What it means

The McHenry County Board will vote Tuesday on whether to spend $15.9 million to design the proposed widening of Randall Road and to pay for the needed land.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the county Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock.

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