Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why isn't a permanent bridge for IL Rte. 83 being built?
A: The designer considered a permanent bridge for IL Rte. 83 over Rollins Road as one of the design alternatives. When selecting the design for construction, many factors were considered:

  • Safety of the new design
  • Capacity of the intersection
  • Accessibility of the local area
  • Impact to local economic development

As part of the design process, simulations of traffic flow were run for each of the design alternatives. These computer models showed that because of the nearby intersections on IL Rte. 83, the design with an IL Rte. 83 bridge showed no significant improvement in overall traffic flow over the design we are building. Using a bridge on IL Rte. 83 would also result in a larger area for the ramps, so additional property would have had to be acquired. The expense of acquiring the necessary land, building a new permanent bridge, and maintaining this configuration would have added significant costs to the project. Local property owners also felt a bridge would have hampered economic development of the area because the grade separation would have made their stores less visible from the road and less attractive to customers and future businesses. Grade separations of roads typically restrict pedestrian and cyclist access to the area as well.

The design selected for construction will have two through lanes for all directions at Rollins Road and IL Rte. 83, plus two left-turn lanes and a right-turn lane. This represents a significant increase in the capacity of the intersection, even after considering the removal of the railroad crossing and improved spacing of the intersections on Rollins Road. This design was chosen over the bridge option because it provides significantly improved capacity for the majority of the intersection users without the major additional costs and has the most positive impact on local economic development and accessibility.

Right now, in its incomplete state, the intersection has roughly the same capacity for IL Rte. 83 traffic as it did before the project started. Traffic on Rollins Road has improved significantly. When the eastern portion of IL Rte. 83 is completed and opened to traffic this spring, it should function as designed and delays on IL Rte. 83 will be reduced.

Q: Why is the new pavement so bumpy/rough?
A: Please keep in mind, the new pavement you are driving on is only temporary. It is only intended to be in place until this summer. As a result, the asphalt pavement and the stone bedding beneath are thinner (therefore less costly) than you would normally find on a road of this size. Our best guess, based on past experience, is that the moisture in the soil beneath the road is freezing and expanding. Because the pavement is thinner, it is more flexible and unable to bridge the unevenly expanded soil below. Once we experience a sustained thaw, we expect most of the bumps will being settling out.

Q: Can’t the bumps be fixed now?
A. Asphalt plants in the area do not usually stay open during the winter, since asphalt is particularly weather sensitive. As a result, it would be difficult to find material to resurface the bumpy pavement. Another option that’s been tried in the past is to mill the high spots down. Unfortunately, it’s been found that when the ground thaws, these now become low spots that collect water. With the freeze-thaw cycle we usually see in the spring, these can turn into nasty potholes. At this point, the best course of action is to wait until spring and see if the problem corrects itself. Any significant problems that remain could then be safely addressed until the new much studier permanent pavement is installed.

Q: The signals at IL Rte. 83 and Rollins seem too short, especially the left turns. Can the timing be adjusted?
A: As part of the contract, a signal consultant has been retained for this project. Their role is to examine the traffic patterns at different times of days and adjust the signal timing to allow traffic to flow as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, there are times that there just isn’t enough capacity to take time from one direction without having a far worse impact on another direction. Also, when a train passes through, the timing of the signals changes to allow Rollins/IL Rte. 83 to re-sync with the surrounding intersections. As a result, this can shorten the duration of the left turns until it can be re-synced. This process may take several cycles, which can seem frustratingly long. The consultant has responded to the concerns we’ve heard and has re-evaluated and adjusted the timing where possible.

Q: How will this project affect my commute?
A: The first major item of work will be the construction of a temporary Rollins Road. This will allow the same number of through and turn lanes during construction as there were prior to the start of work. This will allow about 80% of the work on this project to be physically separated from traffic.

Our construction sequence page shows the different configurations of traffic throughout the project. Please check this website or sign up for our e-mail notifications under Contact Us to learn about traffic pattern changes.

Q: How can I find out about traffic conditions throughout the project?
A: Please visit the Lake County PASSAGE site for up-to-date information about traffic conditions, both for the project and throughout the County. This website will also provide weekly updates to inform you of upcoming work. Also, please sign up, under Contact Us, to receive updates of any major traffic changes.

Q: Will there be any closures?
A: We do anticipate a number of brief closures as follows:

  • Rollins Road (two weeks, October 2013) – This closure is to allow the CN Railroad time to install an at-grade crossing for the temporary Rollins Road pavement. Traffic will be diverted onto the temporary pavement once the crossing is complete.
  • IL 83/Rollins Road TURNS ONLY (one month, late summer 2014) – A temporary bridge carrying IL Rte. 83 will be erected over Rollins Road to allow construction of the new intersection. During this time, traffic will not be able to turn between Rollins Road and IL Rte. 83.
  • IL 83/Rollins Road – (up to five nights, August 2014) – A full closure of all traffic will be required to remove the temporary bridge. This will be done at night to minimize the impact on traffic.

All closures will have marked detour routes to get to your destination. Details can be found on our Detours page. To find out when these closures will occur, please check the Lake County PASSAGE, or Contact Us for email updates.

Q: Will local businesses remain open during construction?
A: Yes. While a few businesses were required to close to allow property acquisition for the project, access to all businesses will be open throughout the duration of the project. Details can be found on our Local Business page. Please Contact Us if you have any questions or concerns about accessing businesses along the project.

Q: Will there be flooding in the viaduct with the new, lower elevation of the intersection?
A: Even though the intersection will be at a lower elevation, it will be high enough to allow all storm water to flow via gravity. Nno pumping station will be necessary to keep the viaduct clear. Additionally, the entire drainage system in the intersection will be reworked to increase the capacity, allowing storm runoff to flow more efficiently.

Q: When will this project be completed?
A: We anticipate all new lanes will be opened to traffic by November 2014. Some minor work and landscaping will likely take place during the spring of 2015, with minimal impact to traffic. Please see our Schedule page for further details.

Q: How can I submit a comment or question?
A: Please Contact Us.