Archive for the ‘Traffic’ Category

Route 59 bridge repairs in Wauconda

Repairs to the bridge carrying Route 59 over Route 12, in Wauconda, will begin, weather permitting, Monday, July 12, the Illinois Department of Transportation has announced.

To complete the work, daytime lane closures will take place on Route 59 at the bridge. Drivers should also expect occasional daytime lane closures on Route 12 at Route 59.

Additionally, a full overnight closure on northbound Route 12, between Route 22 and Route 176 will be required to accommodate the installation of steel beams. During that time, a detour will direct northbound drivers to Route 22 to access Route 59, and Barrington Road and Route 176 to rejoin northbound Route 12. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of July.

Drivers can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment

Find traffic and road conditions at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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President Joe Biden will visit the northwestern suburb of Crystal Lake next week, a White House official told NBC 5.

Seth Schuster, a regional communications director at the White House, confirmed the visit, but didn’t provide details, including a reason for the trip or where exactly the president would stop.

The president has made two other recent visits in the Midwest.

Biden traveled to Traverse City, Michigan Saturday as part of an effort to highlight the nation’s progress against COVID-19 and promote the infrastructure plan he negotiated with a group of senators. Last week, the president toured a La Crosse, Wisconsin transit facility and delivered remarks on the infrastructure deal.


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53 Greenway

First came the Illinois Prairie Path, one of the first rail-to-trail conversions in the United States. Later, The 606 trail in Chicago attracted crowds of bikers and runners and led to skyrocketing nearby property values. Now, a group of conservationists and elected officials in Lake County are pushing to turn a former proposed tollway corridor into a greenway — a trail through a long, narrow nature preserve.

Illinois lawmakers recently approved a resolution calling for a task force to study alternate uses for the proposed extension of Illinois Route 53 in the northwest suburbs. The effort picks up where Illinois tollway officials left off in 2019 when they dropped plans for the road.

Believers in the project cite it as an example of a popular trend away from highways and greenhouse gas emissions, and toward preservation of natural areas. Critics see it as a boondoggle for a relatively small number of people, rather than a project that could have served 100,000 drivers a day and spurred economic development.

While Republicans traditionally have supported road projects, the resolution passed unanimously in both chambers, suggesting growing bipartisan support for nature paths.

“These become beloved spaces where diverse residents, young and old, flock to get fresh air, walk, bike, and share a moment with each other,” said Gerald Adelmann, president and CEO of the nonprofit Openlands conservation group. “This is our moment to create that kind of legacy for our communities.”

Road builders see it differently. Mike Sturino, president of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, cited widespread past support for the expressway.

“The majority of working people suffer when you pull the plug on needed infrastructure,” Sturino said. “I like bike lanes, but we have to be realistic. It’s shocking when respectable officials are browbeaten by a radical fringe to go along with this reckless move.”

Read more here.

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Lately, there have been too many stories about bicycle-related accidents and deaths. These stories are often followed by comments from riders, drivers and pedestrians alike regarding who is really to blame. The reality is that it’s everyone. We have all seen far too many cyclists who ignore the rules of the road, far too many reckless drivers who are heedless of those around them, far too many careless pedestrians. And most of us have probably been one of them at some time.

Two years ago this week, my brother died from massive injuries after he was hit by a car on his nightly walk home from the train station. The driver committed no quantifiable errors. Was she distracted? Was he? We’ll never know. And I’m not sure how much it would matter to have someone to blame; he is still lost to those who loved him.

Our moving among each other in this busy, crowded world is serious business, requiring constant attention and respect for the rules of safety, as well as for ourselves and those with whom we share our space.

Without it, precious lives will continue to be lost or forever altered.

— Louise Nelson, Barrington Hills


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Canadian National’s rail crossing on Route 14 just east of Route 59 in Barrington. The village is closely watching as federal regulators consider a proposed merger between CN and Kansas City Southern Railway could bring more freight train traffic through town. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer)

The brawl between railroad giants Canadian National and Canadian Pacific to acquire Kansas City Southern Railway tilted in CN’s direction Friday when officials announced a merger agreement with KCS. But many forces are at play that defy a predictable outcome in the continental dispute touching nerves in the suburbs.

Kansas City Southern’s board of directors hailed what they called a “superior” Canadian National proposal, alarming towns located along CN tracks that they may become collateral damage.

The merger, which still requires U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval, “will meaningfully connect the continent with enhancing competition, offering more choice for customers, and driving environmental stewardship and shareholder value,” CN President JJ Ruest said in a statement.

Unfazed, Canadian Pacific told STB regulators they’re not giving up and the rejection “reflects the extreme price CN has offered.”

In 2008, the STB approved a controversial merger between CN and the smaller Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway, which runs through the north, west, and south suburbs, multiplying trains on those tracks when Canadian National took possession. Now there are fears of a repeat with KCS, a major freight carrier that extends into Mexico.

However, “CN faces an uphill battle,” DePaul University and railroad expert Professor Joseph Schwieterman said. “A year ago, the acquisition might have sailed though Washington, but circumstances are different now, under the Biden Administration.”

Read more here.

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CN Main St

U.S. Rep. Sean Castin has earmarked, “$500,000 for Barrington’s plan to create a safer pedestrian crossing where Main Street meets the Canadian National Railroad.”

Congressional representatives serving northeastern Illinois have requested hundreds of millions of dollars in federal cash for community and transportation projects as part of the appropriations process for the 2022 fiscal year.

Links to each lawmaker’s funding requests for community projects can be found at appropriations.house.gov/transparency. A list of the transportation projects submitted by each lawmaker can be found at transportation.house.gov/committee-activity/issue/member-designated-projects.

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, a Downers Grove Democrat serving the 6th District, requested a $31.9 million for 10 community projects and eight transportation or infrastructure projects. His requests include:

  • $1.5 million for the Morton Arboretum in Lisle to fund its participation in the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, which helps communities plant and grow trees.
  • $6.6 million for Naperville-based 360 Youth Services‘ Youth Affordable Housing Resource Center, which will offer crisis intervention, job training and other services.
  • $500,000 for Barrington’s plan to create a safer pedestrian crossing where Main Street meets the Canadian National Railroad.

“Projects like these will have a lasting and important impact on our community, and I’m proud to advocate for them,” Casten said.

Read more here.

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CN 2008

The Canadian National Railway’s proposed takeover of the EJ & E Railroad prompted protests by community members in Barrington in 2008.

A replay of a 2008 battle to stop the Canadian National Railway from acquiring another railroad is emerging in the suburbs with similar concerns about spiraling freight train traffic.

There’s a twist this time, however, as both CN and its rival the Canadian Pacific Railroad are vying to merge with the Kansas City Southern Railway, a major freight carrier whose reach extends to Mexico.

Any merger, regardless of whether it’s CN or CP, would require approval from federal regulators, but the prospect of Canadian National joining with the Kansas railroad is already raising hackles in suburbs from Barrington to Bartlett.

A number of communities are asking the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to carefully scrutinize CN’s proposal before taking any action.

There is potential that “CN’s freight trains will further burden the Chicago area with increased road network congestion by adding a significant increase in freight rail volumes,” Bartlett Mayor Kevin Wallace wrote the STB on behalf of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Executive Board, of which he is chairman.

In 2008, CN received STB approval to purchase the smaller EJ & E, which passed through the northwest and southwest suburbs.

Attorney Richard Streeter, who is representing Barrington, characterized the new proposal as a “traffic congestion nightmare” in a letter to the STB.

“EJ & E communities have now been left coping with longer and slower trains, which would only increase yet again with the proposed merger,” Streeter wrote.

Read more here.

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Another IDOT road project kicks off Monday at the border of our Village near Crabtree Nature Center.

A 4.8-mile stretch of Palatine Road from Algonquin Road in South Barrington to Roselle Road in Inverness and Palatine will be under construction from now through October according to IDOT.

Officials say the projects will require daily, intermittent lane closures. Access to residences and businesses within the work zones will be maintained throughout construction.

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Work on the Northwest Highway (Route 14) bridge over the Fox River in Cary and Fox River Grove will begin, weather permitting, Monday, March 15.

Northwest Highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Ebert Drive to Opatrny Drive. In addition, left turns from southeast bound Northwest Highway onto River Road and to 215 Northwest Highway (The Arlington Club) will not be allowed. Motorists should follow the posted detour.

The project consists of deck and joint repairs and a new deck overlay. It’s expected to be completed in late September. Find traffic and road conditions at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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170 Old Sutton Road

The Zoning Board of Appeals meets this evening at 6:30 PM. Items on their agenda include,

  • Setback Variation Application: 170 Old Sutton Road
  • Text Amendment to Section 5-5-3 Special Uses to include, in the list of Special Uses, “Non-Commercial Event Facility.
  • Zoning Map – 2021

A copy of the agenda, including instructions on remotely accessing the meeting, can be viewed and downloaded here.

Related: “ZBA Application for Variance public hearing February 16th

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