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Proceed with caution on Randall Road

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Anyone who has ever driven on Randall Road in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills on a busy Saturday or during the morning and evening commutes is all too familiar with the congestion.

The McHenry County Board is trying to do something about that stretch of Randall Road, including at the intersection of Randall and Algonquin roads. That’s a good thing. How the County Board is going about accomplishing that is a little disturbing.

The County Board last week approved up to $15.9 million for the design phase of the Randall Road widening project, which will widen a 3.5-mile stretch of the congested shopping corridor to six lanes from its start at Ackman Road south to the Kane ­County line, and add dual left-turn lanes and exclusive right-turn lanes at major signal intersections.

That’s a hefty price tag, and we implore the County Board to spend taxpayer money wisely.

One controversial part of the project is the possibility of installing a continuous flow intersection at the Randall-Algonquin intersection.

The County Board granted a $9.1 million contract to TranSystems to design the entire project.

Some County Board members say that part of the $9.1 million is to determine whether a continuous flow intersection is the best option and that no final determination has been made. Others point out that the way the contract is written and the fact that a large sum of federal dollars are available for a continuous flow intersection, indicate such an intersection is all but guaranteed.

We hope the former is true but suspect the latter is more accurate. A complete study on how a continuous flow intersection would affect businesses and residents in the area should happen before any decision is made. If installing such an intersection is severely detrimental to business in the area, the County Board should seek alternatives.

A balance must be struck between what’s good for business and moving traffic along. And it must be done without wasting taxpayers’ money.

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