Construction season set to see Johnsburg Road bridge, Dole Avenue among larger projects this year

Summer construction season kicks off in some McHenry County towns, others set for later this summer

Water main construction continues on Kimball Avenue between Dean Street and Lake Avenue in  Woodstock on Monday, April 10, 2023.

With supply chain delays still a concern, the McHenry County Division of Transportation ordered supplies for this summer’s Johnsburg Road bridge reconstruction last fall, department spokesman Christopher Grask said.

That project, set to begin on June 4 and continue through mid-July, is one of the several summer 2023 projects motorists across McHenry County can expect to cause detours or plan changes.

The county bid out precast deck beams and other structural pieces for the bridge over Dutch Creek in October, Grask said. “We bought some of the supplies so we wouldn’t have to worry about supply chain issues” when the project gets underway.

The project is “estimated to start in the summer and end in the summer” and will include a detour while the work, expected to take six to eight weeks, is finished, he said.

Lane diversions have been in place on the bridge for several years due to deteriorated beams supporting the bridge, Johnsburg Village Administrator Claudett Sofiakis said.

Everybody needs to be patient; it is construction season. These projects need to get done.

—  Crystal Lake Director of Public Works Michael Magnuson

“While the construction is taking place, we ask for the cooperation of our residents and persons who regularly travel through the area,” Sofiakis said, adding travel in the neighborhoods adjacent to the construction will be limited to local traffic only.

The county’s road department also plan to resurface Pyott Road from Rakow Road to Algonquin Road and Lakewood Road from Ackman Road to Algonquin Road in Algonquin.

Near Union, plans are to resurface South Union Road from Route 20 to West Union Road, West Union Road from Route 20 to Water Tower Lane, and North Union Road from Highbridge Road to Route 176.

The county also plans to add more flashing yellow left-turn lights to seven intersections on Algonquin Road, one in Spring Grove, and six on Walkup Avenue/South Crystal Lake Road, Grask said.

“We will see a lot more of those as ... a way to reduce congestion,” Grask said. While the signals will still have red, green and yellow lights, the left flashing arrow will allow motorists to yield and turn when there is not oncoming traffic.

Residents can go to the McHenry County Division of Transportation website to check on construction updates. Later this week, plans are to unveil a new online portal for residents to get updates of those ongoing projects.

The intersection of Congress Parkway and Exchange Drive in Crystal Lake on Monday, April 10, 2023. This intersection and the intersection of Federal Drive and Congress Parkway are on track to be changed into roundabouts this summer construction season.

For Woodstock, one of the bigger projects for 2023 is its Lake Avenue reconstruction. The city will rebuild the roadway between Route 14 to Route 47 and replace water mains there, Woodstock City Engineer Chris Tiedt said.

A popular cut-through for drivers avoiding the Route 47/Route 14 intersection, redoing Lake Avenue now also prepares Woodstock for when the Illinois Department of Transportation widens Route 47.

IDOT has indicated that project will go to bid in January 2024 to begin construction next summer. Whether it starts next year or not is dependent on finishing right-of-way acquisitions from adjacent landowners.

When Route 47 construction does start, it will be on a two-year construction timeline. That is why now was the time to do Lake Avenue – to be prepared for additional traffic when the state road is under construction, Tiedt said.

“You think about where people are going to go, so that is what we are trying to do – not tearing roads apart during the Route 47 project that people will detour or bypass on. We want to make traffic through Woodstock as easy as possible,” Tiedt said

In early July, Crystal Lake is set to start a $6.5 million complete reconstruction of Dole Avenue from Route 14 to Oak Street. Work there will not begin until after the Lakeside Festival at the Dole, set for June 29 to July 2, Director of Public Works Michael Magnuson said.

The two-year project will be split into two phases. “We want to do it in logical stages that don’t interfere too much. We don’t want to inconvenience everybody all at once,” Magnuson said.

The roadway is getting a complete redo with curb, gutter and sidewalks.

Two roundabouts on Congress Parkway – one at Exchange Drive and the other at Federal Drive – are also set to begin in June. The roundabouts, with a $1.2 million price tag, will be done separately, with Exchange Drive going first in hopes to alleviate some of the traffic congestion, Magnuson said.

He’s not concerned about any supply chain delays for either the Dole Avenue or roundabout projects, Magnuson said. “Both of those projects [are] pretty standard construction,” Magnuson said.

Downtown McHenry will see Green Street closed for about two months this summer as it is resurfaced from Municipal Drive to Route 120, Public Works Director Troy Strange said.

Dartmoor Drive also will get a new surface between Curran Road and Farmstead Drive, and the bridge at Boone Creek will close for two to four weeks for new asphalt there.

Vehicles travel along Dole Avenue between Route 14 and South Oak Street in Crystal Lake on Monday, April 10, 2023. This section of Dole Avenue is scheduled to be reconstructed over the next two summers.

Huntley is resurfacing 10.5 miles of roadway in its “largest road program resurfacing in the village to date,” Public Works and Engineering Director Tim Farrell said.

Most of the resurfacing is happening on residential streets. A downtown streetscape project on Church Street between Main and Mill streets also will include some underground work, Farrell said.

The village expects these projects to start by April 17. The village designed the road project and went to bids early “to hedge some possible supply chain issues” Farrell said.

The public works departments encouraged drivers to check their respective websites and social media pages for updates.

“Everybody needs to be patient; it is construction season. These projects need to get done,” Magnuson said.