What is the purpose of the Gilmer/Midlothian Intersection Improvement Project?

The Gilmer/Midlothian Intersection Improvement Project will increase user safety, improve capacity and operation, replace aging infrastructure, add pedestrian and non-motorized facilities to increase access, and enhance the regional roadway network.

How long will construction take?

Construction should be completed in Spring 2023.

How much is the project going to cost?

Berger Excavating Contractors of Wauconda, IL  submitted the low bid at $10,583,076.83.

How will the project be funded?

The construction of this project is funded by County sales tax funds. The Lake County Board has allocated 1/4% of sales tax funds toward transportation modernization and widening projects like this one.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How can I get more info?

Receive more info by signing up for regular updates and periodically visiting this website. Sign up for update HERE.