Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

Road Week Ahead: March 17 – March 21

Here’s what’s on tap for Lake County commuters this week: Community Forums, new lane configurations on the Tri-State Tollway, free rides for seniors, and a television program exploring the effects of explosive growth on a Chicago suburb.

Plus, the Tri-State shuts down – but only for a few hours in the middle of the night.

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Filed under: Commuting, , , , , , ,

Gurnee gears up for a busy roadwork season

Washington Street, as any frequent traveler of this road could attest, is in sore need of an upgrade. The pavement is pocked in places, cracked in others. There is a river of ruts delineating the left and right westbound lanes running all the way from US Route 41 to O’Plaine Road. I may avoid it for a while, but sooner or later I find myself turning west on Washington from northbound Milwaukee Avenue, staying within the lines like a kindergartener with a crayon lest my car be jiggled by the patchy trail.

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Filed under: Congestion Relief, , , , , ,

Road Week Ahead: February 25 – February 29

Here’s what’s on tap for Lake County commuters this leap week.

Illinois Tollway construction update: Monday morning marks the start of a new traffic pattern on the northern Tri-State Tollway. As part of the ongoing Rebuild and Widen project, traffic shifts and preparations for a southbound counterflow lane began February 22. Starting in March, one lane of southbound traffic will be temporarily shifted onto the northbound side.

Two right lanes on the northbound Tri-State will be closed between Duffy Lane and Route 176 from 7 PM Monday night to 8 AM Tuesday morning. Also scheduled for Monday night are northbound single-lane closures between Route 137 and Stearns School Road. All other construction continues as planned.

The Illinois DOT construction update report doesn’t reflect this, but those Half-Day Road log cabins were finally torn down a few weeks ago. I haven’t driven that route in a while and was unaware of their disappearance. I also didn’t realize they were the source of so much chatter in Lincolnshire, but I’m new to these parts.

Here’s the Lake County DOT roadwork update report. Several projects currently on hold for winter will start up in a few weeks.

Interstate 94 weather report. Snow showers are predicted for Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday’s temps will be abnormally frigid.

Got a road tip? Click here to send it (opens in a new window).

Filed under: Roads, , , , , , ,

Road Week Ahead: February 18 – February 22

Here’s what’s on tap for Lake County commuters this week: Pothole patching, brisk temperatures, and the usual.

Illinois Tollway commuter alert: Expect daytime lane closures for several pothole repair projects on Monday and Tuesday. Tri-State Tollway closures are planned as follows:

Monday 2/18:

  • Northbound and southbound between Half-Day Road and Route 176 (7 AM – 5 PM)
  • Southbound Tri-State from Route 137 to Stearns School Road (9 AM – 3 PM)
  • Scheduled lane closures for “snow removal” southbound from Route 137 to Route 120 (5 AM – 10 AM – commuter alert!) and northbound from Route 120 to Stearns School Road (10 AM – 3 PM)

Tuesday 2/19:

  • Southbound Tri-State from Route 137 to Stearns School Road (9 AM – 3 PM)
  • Northbound Tri-State from Half-Day Road to Route 176 (7 AM – 5 PM)
  • Scheduled lane closures for “snow removal” southbound from Route 137 to Route 120 (5 AM – 10 AM – commuter alert!) and northbound from Route 120 to Stearns School Road (10 AM – 3 PM)

Also in tollway news: ISTHA is hosting an Open House on Thursday February 21 “to share information regarding construction projects on the Tri-State Tollway”. The meeting will be held from 4-7 PM at the Tri-State Tollway Construction Field Office in Deerfield. Details are available at ISTHA’s website.

Links roundup: Illinois DOT construction update report and Lake County DOT roadwork update report.

Here’s the Interstate 94 weather report. Forecasters are predicting a week of frigid temps with only a dusting of snow. Of course, a Big Major Snowstorm was due on Sunday February 17; no major accumulation yet as of this writing.

Got a road tip? Click here to send it (opens in a new window).

Filed under: Roads, , ,

Potholes: portals to the center of the Earth

There is a pothole on the Tri-State Tollway in the second-to-rightmost lane, south of the Deerfield Road exit. This pothole is narrow but dangerous. Flying over it at 65 MPH, you’ll barely feel a jostle. But hit it at the “right spot” during the rush hour crawl at 10MPH and it’ll feel like you’ve just driven over a moon crater. This stretch of I-94 is under construction, so the hole should eventually be patched, but be aware.

There’s just something about the Tri-State and potholes. Last winter, several of them opened up between Route 60 and Route 22. There must be something about the paving material, coupled with heavy truck traffic, that makes this road surrender under wintry duress.

Chicago’s potholes are legendary. Potholes resumed their reign of terror over Lake Shore Drive in December, leaving injuries to cars and people in their wake.

Ordinary citizens can fight back by joining Operation Pothole – otherwise known as a web page with links to city, county and state resources. The city is tackling potholes head-on:

[Repair crews are] referencing a new, GPS-based, real-time map of more than 1,000 potholes. The map is based on the same city maps used to fight crime, only this time, the bad guy is the potholes that are phoned in to 311.

As for our lovely suburbs, the pothole problem is generally not as extensive but the buggers are still there. A Route 41 pothole took out my tire on a wet winter night in 2006 (note to motorists: electronic tire pressure monitors are wonderful things).

Lake County potholes can be reported to the municipality, the county, or the state. Provide as much information about the pothole as you can: name of street, name of closest cross-street, number of busted hubcaps lying on the shoulder near it (we call these “the pothole’s way of scrapbooking”) – anything that sticks in mind.

Filed under: Road Conditions, , , ,

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