March 5, 2012
3 years of pain starts at Route 20-McLean
Intersection reconstruction to run through 2014
By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | March 5, 2012
For the next three months, construction crews will be working hard at Route 20 and McLean Boulevard essentially just to get ready for a massive, $40.6 million project, whose construction is expected to run through 2014.
That’s right — the next three months is just the prep work for a project that will create a three-year-long headache for motorists. Elgin officials last week implemented some changes along Lillian, South and Walnut streets, anticipating drivers will seek to avoid the bottleneck that is certain to occur during parts of the day.
The end result of the construction: The transformation of the intersection from its diamond configuration to a single-point urban interchange, the workings of which are demonstrated in the video. Illinois Department of Transportation officials believe the change will accommodate traffic congestion that has been increasing steadily at that intersection for years.
The three months of prep work will be done by Plote Construction Inc., of Hoffman Estates, the prime contractor on the preliminary $9.8 million phase of the project.
IDOT says this phase of the project involves installing two concrete retaining walls along Route 20 and temporarily widening the highway over McLean to accommodate traffic during the larger interchange reconstruction project that begins in late 2012 and continues through the fall of 2014. The Shepard Drive intersection with Weld Road will be realigned to eliminate the sharp curve. The intersection of Shepard and Fleetwood drives will be reconstructed and widened.
Also during this initial phase, the eastbound Route 20 entrance ramp will be closed during the day. The work will require occasional lane closures during the day on Route 20, Shepard, Fleetwood and Weld, with possible intermittent overnight lane closures on McLean Boulevard and Route 20.
Later this year, the real work gets under way, with the $30.8 million construction of the single-point urban interchange, which will be a reconstruction of the entire intersection to include:
Replacing and widening Route 20 over McLean. Two exit ramps will be added on eastbound Route 20 to McLean.
Reconstruction and widening of McLean Boulevard to a four-lane, divided roadway from south of Fleetwood Drive to north of Lillian Street, with turn lanes at all major intersections.
Reconstruction and widening of the Fleetwood Drive intersection.
Modernizing and synchronizing traffic signals at Fleetwood Drive, Route 20 ramps with McLean, and Lillian Street to enhance traffic flow.
The addition of shared bike paths on both sides of McLean.
It will be markedly different.The diamond configuration involves two immediate sets of traffic lights — at Weld Road, immediately south of Route 20, and at the westbound 20 exit ramp immediately north of the highway overpass. Also entering the traffic picture are a third set of lights at Lillian and McLean to the north, and a fourth at Fleetwood Drive and McLean to the south. In three years, the new configuration will eliminate some of those traffic lights.