Big improvements are coming to the tricky intersection of Route 59 and Grand Avenue in Fox Lake.
Pending final approval next week, work is expected to begin this fall on a $10.5 million project to deal with what has been described as a unique convergence of roads.
“This is a project we’ve been working on since about 2009,” said Shane Schneider, director of the Lake County Division of Transportation.
“There’s been a lot of coordination and public outreach. We’re happy to finally be at the finish line,” he said Wednesday to the Lake County Board’s public works and transportation committee.
The committee recommended approval of the contract with Lima Excavating Contractors Inc. of Ringwood.
The project calls for Washington Avenue to be realigned to meet Route 59 south of Grand Avenue, creating a signalized intersection connecting to Grant Community High School.
Route 59/Grand Avenue will have left-turn lanes on three legs of the crossing and a southbound right-turn lane. Left-turn lanes also will be on all legs of the Route 59/Washington intersection, with a southbound right-turn lane into the high school.
Sidewalks and multi-use paths also are part of the project.
“The traffic light going into the high school will be huge,” said committee member J. Kevin Hunter, whose County Board district includes Fox Lake. “This will be well-received.”
According to LCDOT, the intersection is hard for drivers to maneuver because both roads are on a skew, and there is a lack of left-turn lanes on Route 59.
Utility relocations are anticipated to begin in the fall, but there is no set schedule, Schneider said. The bulk of the work is expected to be done next construction season.
The County Board’s financial and administrative committee will review the project and contract Thursday, and the board is expected to take final action Tuesday.