IDOT presents proposed improvements for intersection of Rt. 47 and Plato Road
By Denise Moran For Sun-Times Media December 11, 2013 3:48PM
Vehicles make their way through the intersection of Route 47 and Plato Road in Kane County Wednesday afternoon. IDOT is proposing improvements ranging from stoplights to a roundabout at the intersection. | Denise Moran for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 14, 2014 12:03PM
BURLINGTON — They can leave it as it is, add traffic signals, or turn it into a roundabout.
Area residents were invited to attend a public meeting this week at Central High School to learn more about these three alternatives proposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation for the intersection of Route 47 and Plato Road.
IDOT officials describe the current intersection as “an all-way stop controlled intersection with a single flashing beacon light located in the center of the intersection with a single luminaire. The land surrounding the intersection is mainly open farm land with residential homes, three schools, an equine hospital, stables, a small airport and commercial businesses.”
The main reason for the proposed changes are the 27 reported vehicles crashes, including one fatality, at the intersection from 2006 to 2010.
In addition to improving safety, IDOT officials stated that “the selected improvement would develop a drainage system to eliminate standing water around the northwest and southeast corners of the intersection. Establishing ditches within the project limits would reduce the potential for further erosion and related flooding of nearby crops. This improvement would also modify the roadway’s profile, directing water either north to Bowes Creek or south to a new culvert.”
The estimated cost for putting in traffic signals is $2.6 million. The anticipated cost for installing a roundabout is $2.8 million. In both cases, eight parcels of land would need to be obtained for right of way.
Proposed plans for adding signalization include installing traffic signals on all four legs of the intersection. Work would include widening the roadway to accommodate a single 12-foot-wide left-turn lane and a 12-foot-wide shared through/right lane on all legs. Paved 8-foot- and 6-foot-wide shoulders would be on each leg respectively.
IDOT officials defined a roundabout as “a type of circular intersection with yield control of entering traffic, islands on the approaches, and appropriate roadway curvature to reduce vehicle speeds.”
Roundabouts are usually smaller than the large, high-speed rotaries still in use in some parts of the country, although they are typically larger than neighborhood traffic circles used to “calm” traffic.
The proposed roundabout for the intersection of Route 47 and Plato Road would have a 14-foot-wide circulating single lane. Long splitter islands on all four legs would “deflect” entering vehicles. A 14-foot-wide concrete truck apron, located just outside the central island, would accommodate large trucks, farm equipment and emergency vehicles by giving them additional area to maneuver through the circle. Entering vehicles would yield to traffic circulating counterclockwise in the circle.
Trucks and buses
IDOT officials said Route 47 is a designated truck route with 5,600 vehicles a day. Plato Road, which is not a designated truck route, sees 3,400 vehicles a day. It has more school bus activity than Route 47.
Shadab Ansari, IDOT civil engineer project manager, said that the proposed roundabout addresses the problem of speeding by forcing vehicles to slow down to 20 to 25 miles an hour while going through the roundabout.
Depending on the alternative that is chosen, Ansari said the project is projected to be built between 2014 and 2019.
“We’re basically getting feedback from the community right now,” Ansari said. “The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to gather comments in order to determine preferences.”
Plato Township resident Dolores Schuring’s farm abuts Plato Road and Route 47. She said she was surprised at how large the proposed roundabout would be but realized it would have to be big enough to accommodate semi-trucks. Her preferred alternative would be to install traffic signals.
“I think stop and go lights would be better,” Schuring said. “It costs less to go with the lights.”
Written comments or questions regarding the proposed intersection improvements can be mailed to Carlos Feliciano, Illinois Department of Transportation Bureau of Programming, 201 West Center Court, Schaumburg, IL 60196.
Comments and questions also can be emailed to DOT.IL47atPlato@Illinois.gov.
Comments should reach IDOT no later than Jan. 9, 2014.