Current Project Exhibit

Overall Project Exhibit.pdf (35 MB)

FAQs

1. How will the proposed improvements address the Canadian National Railroad crossing delays?

The purpose of this project is to improve operations and safety of the Gilmer/Midlothian intersection while also providing safe non-motorized access for pedestrians and bicyclists. However, it is also recognized that Canadian National freight train blockages on Gilmer Road currently result in traffic backing up through the Gilmer/Midlothian intersection during peak traffic hours. The proposed Gilmer/Midlothian improvements include four through lanes of traffic on all four legs of the intersection in addition to turn lanes. The additional lanes will provide more opportunity for traffic to keep moving through the intersection when traffic approaching the railroad crossing backs up. In addition, the improvements will extend the proposed 4-lane section of Gilmer Road between the intersection and the rail crossing to enable more vehicles to queue up on that leg before reaching the intersection.  “Do Not Block Intersection” signs will be placed at the Gilmer/Midlothian intersection to discourage drivers from entering the intersection when traffic on the other side is stopped. The traffic signals will continue to operate normally to allow traffic not heading toward the railroad crossing to continue moving. A grade separation of the Gilmer Road and the Canadian National railroad line was not considered because it is beyond the scope of this project.  As a part of this study, Lake County did not evaluate the cost of a grade separation over the Canadian National Railroad.  However, according to the 2014 Village of Hawthorn Woods Comprehensive Plan, the cost of a grade separated railroad crossing could exceed $25 million.

2. How was it determined that multi-use trails and sidewalks would be included in the project and where they would be located?

Lake County strives to provide appropriate accommodation for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and persons of all abilities where accommodations can be added within the overall scope of the original work. For the Gilmer/Midlothian project, the Village of Hawthorn Woods has expressed interest in sponsoring trails within the Village as part of the project. This means that the Village will participate in the cost of land acquisition and construction of these facilities, and will also be responsible for maintenance. The Village provided input regarding the location of the trails that are in keeping with the Village’s current Comprehensive Plan. Other pedestrian and bicycle facilities that are outside of the Village limits would need to have another municipal sponsor.  Ela Township is sponsoring a proposed sidewalk on Gilmer Road between Sylvan Drive and Midlothian Road.  The feasibility of extending the proposed sidewalk beyond Sylvan Drive to Crescent Drive in Fremont Township will be analyzed during the detailed engineering phase.

3. Has consideration been given to the noise from additional traffic?

The Lake County Division of Transportation does not have a program or planned project to install noise abatement along Gilmer Road.

4. What was the reason for selecting a signalized intersection over the modern roundabout for the proposed intersection?

Both intersection alternatives were determined to be viable solutions that would improve traffic delay and safety at the intersection. However, the two alternatives vary in the way traffic flows through them, access to commercial properties, pedestrian crossings, emergency vehicle treatment, and construction methods. An important reason for selecting the signalized alternative over the modern roundabout alternative is the amount of time before the intersection returns to normal operations after a freight train blockage of Gilmer Road at the Canadian National railroad crossing reaches the intersection.

5. Can a traffic signal be installed at the intersection of Gilmer Road with Cardinal Drive / Crescent Drive?

The Lake County Division of Transportation determines whether a traffic signal can be provided at intersections based on signalization warrants that are established by the Illinois Supplement to the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Based on comments received at the Public Hearing, a traffic signal warrant analysis was performed for the intersection of Gilmer Road with Cardinal Drive / Crescent Drive. The results of the analysis indicated that this intersection does not meet the minimum requirements to warrant the installation of a traffic signal.

6. How will the businesses at the intersection of Gilmer Road and Midlothian Road be affected?

The addition of lanes in the proposed improvement will move the roadways closer to the commercial properties at the intersection and require the acquisition of proposed right-of-way from them. The Cherry Hill Plaza driveway on Midlothian Road will be remain as a right-in / right-out access. The driveway of the Gilmer Shell will be converted from full access to right-in / right-out access and the driveway of the Gilmer Road House will be converted from full access to right-in / right-out / left-in access. This is due to the close proximity of these driveways to the Gilmer/Midlothian intersection and the number of lanes that vehicles turning left in or out of those driveways would have to cross.

7. What is the land acquisition being used for?

In addition to the right-of-way needed for the construction of the widened roadway and multi-use trails, easements are also needed for embankments, ditches, storm sewers, and other appurtenances as part of the project. The property acquired will be in the form of permanent right-of-way for the roadway and multi-use trail improvements. For construction of embankments or ditches that can remain as private property with permanent access and maintenance rights given to the County, the acquisition will be in the form of a permanent easement. For access rights that are only needed during construction, such as regrading and repaving of driveways, the acquisition will be in the form of a temporary easement. This allows access for the Contractor during construction, but expires after construction is complete and the ownership remains in the name of the private property owner.

8. When will property owners receive offers for the acquisition of private property for roadway right of way? 

Phase II of this project that includes detailed engineering and development of contract plans and specifications will take place in 2016-18. During Phase II, the proposed land acquisition requirements will be refined, plats and legal descriptions prepared, and appraisals obtained. The County will be in contact with owners once these steps are completed. Depending on project readiness and funding availability, this could occur in 2017 or early 2018. 

9. What is the process after Phase I?

During Phase II, detailed engineering and development of contract plans and specifications takes place. Land acquisition and permit approvals will commence as the engineering is completed. These activities will take place in 2016-18. Phase III consists of the construction of the improvements and is programmed for 2019.

10. The traffic projections for the year 2040 are not much different than the current traffic volumes. I thought that traffic always increased steadily over time - can those projections be true?

The traffic projections are developed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). They are based on the current traffic counts that were taken at the intersection combined with a regional model of traffic flows throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. The traffic model is created from a travel demand analysis that incorporates adopted regional socioeconomic projections for the year 2040, and it assumes the implementation of a set of proposed capital projects.

11. Can my mailbox be moved to my side of the road so I do not have to cross four or five lanes of traffic to get my mail?

The Lake County Division of Transportation is working with the local postmasters to place mailboxes on each side of the road where there are more than two lanes so that residents do not need to cross the road to get their mail.

Check back for more frequently asked questions as the design progresses. Information on the website will be updated to show the progress of the intersection improvement as it moves through Phase II design.  When the project is ready for construction, Lake County will host an open house public meeting that will highlight the construction schedule and staging of the intersection.

Public Meeting #1 Materials 11/9/2011

Fact Sheet

Comment Form

Exhibits

Roundabout Brochure

Public Meeting #2 Materials 4/17/2013

Fact Sheet

Comment Form

Exhibits:
Exhibit_2_Timeline
Exhibit_4_Alternatives_Compared
Exhibit_5_Proposed_Signalized
Exhibit_6_Proposed_Roundabout
Exhibit_7_Commercial_Access_Roundabout
Exhibit_8_Commercial_Access_Signalized
Exhibit_9_Proposed_Multi-Use_Trail
Exhibit_10_Proposed_Roundabout_Close-up

Public Hearing Materials 11/4/2015

Handout

Exhibit Boards
Midlothian Road
Gilmer Road (West)
Gilmer Road (East)

Comparison of Signalized and Roundabout Alternatives Video (This video is 388MB, it may take some time to download)

Glossary

Alternative: Option between mutually exclusive possibilities

Arterial: A signalized street that primarily serves through-traffic and provides access to adjacent properties

Intersection: The general area where two or more roadways join or cross, including the roadway and roadside facilities for traffic movements within the are

Peak Hour: One hour in the day during which the maximum traffic volume occurs on a particular roadway. Peak hours are further classified as a weekday A.M. peak hour, weekday P.M. peak hour, or a weekend peak hour

Phase I Study: First phase in any engineering study that identifies the purpose and need, alternatives, environmental impacts, and a preferred alternative for final design and construction with help from interested stakeholders and the public.

Public Meeting: A meeting in which the members of a particular area meet to exchange thoughts, comments, and ideas on a particular issue

Roundabout: A type of circular intersection that has been successfully implemented in Europe and Australia that follow the "yield-at-entry" rule in which approaching vehicles must wait for a gap in the circulating flow before entering the circle.