LAKE BLUFF — Though construction work to modify the intersection of Highways 41 and 176 in Lake Bluff may not start for a few years, plans with specific changes have moved to a second phase.
The proposal is now in the second of three phases, where details of ideas to better control flooding in the area and ease the entry to and exit from Highway 41 will be made. This phase will also give an idea of the cost.
Lake Bluff Village Administrator Drew Irvin said the overall plan is to redo the intersection in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Lake County Department of Transportation.
“This is a major north-south and east-west intersection,” said Irvin. “There are 50,000 cars a day that go by it. It is going to get a lot more use in the future with the projected growth in the area.”
Originally one unified plan for flooding and road construction, the idea now is that flood control will be considered before changes to the roadway are detailed, said Irvin. A roundabout suggested at one time is not part of the plan.
“They are accelerating the flood-control portion because of recurring flood problems around the intersection,” said Irvin. “There will be a new pumping station and improvements to Pump Station 41. They want to improve the flood situation as best they can.”
A new pump station is proposed at the northeast corner of the of the intersection west of the traffic light at Skokie Valley Road and Route 176, according to a map of the proposed improvements. There is currently an access road leading to the site.
Pump station and sewer improvements are planned on an existing pump station north of the interchange where the Canadian National railroad tracks go under Highway 41. The changes are intended to reduce flooding.
Also in the picture are acceleration and deceleration lanes for people entering and leaving Highway 41 from Highway 176, according to Irvin. He said one reason this part of the project may wait is there are more dangerous intersections in the state needing improvements first.
“The good news is there have not been a lot of serious accidents there,” said Irvin. “Most of the accidents there are side swipes. The more serious accidents have been elsewhere.”
One casualty of the road construction project is the demolition of the current Rockland Fire Protection District fire station near the northwest corner, according to Irvin.
Irvin said before that happens it must be approved by IDOT and funded by the state in its current condition. It is one of two adjacent buildings slated for removal to put in the changes for water detention to reduce flooding.
During Phase 2, costs are calculated. There will be more detailed plans for land acquisition around the location of the improvements there, according to Irvin. The third and final phase is construction. That comes after detailed plans and funding approval.
“Nothing has been done yet about land acquisition,” said Irvin. “Phase One took six years,” he added indicating predicting a timetable is difficult.
Click here to see a complete map of the current proposal.