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Bypass project moving forward in Algonquin

Updated: August 30, 2012 6:21AM

ALGONQUIN — A project more than a decade in the making is gaining traction in the village.

The Village Board recently approved various agreements which will pave way for the construction of the Route 31 Western Bypass, about two miles of new roadway west of the downtown that officials say will ease congestion and make the town more pedestrian-friendly.

As part of the project, the McHenry County Conservation District’s Prairie Trail will be reconfigured to allow greater accessibility to Towne Park, according to a village press release.

“It’s been many, many years as far as planning,” said Michael Kumbera, assistant to the village manager. “That’s why we’re pretty excited.”

Village President John Schmitt said the project “will greatly enhance mobility through the village and McHenry County.”

“It’s been a long, tireless effort by many parties, but we now have a solution which will reduce traffic congestion, improve flow and allow downtown to become a more pedestrian-friendly commercial district,” he said.

Kumbera said the project currently is in the bidding process.

On June 15, S.N. Nielsen & Associates LLC of Chicago submitted the low bid of just more than $33.3 million for the roadway construction contract. IDOT has 45 days to review the bid, Kumbera said.

IDOT officials are performing site grading and excavation activities along the proposed route north of Algonquin Road, which is expected to be completed in November.

Upon completion of the Western Bypass construction, IDOT will transfer jurisdiction of the current Route 31 between Huntington Drive and Elmwood Court to Algonquin, the release said.

Algonquin village officials have retained Land Vision, Inc. which is currently performing a Downtown Planning Study to identify the opportunities that may exist in the area once the Western Bypass construction is complete.

The village received a $90,000 grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency to fund this study, which is expected to be completed later this year.

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