Main Street Reconstruction Project
PROJECT FIRM: Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
OTHER CONSULTANTS: Matthewson Right of Way Company, Metro Strategies Group, The Lakota Group, Martam Construction, Inc., Natural Creations Landscaping Inc., Utility Dynamics Corp., Arrow Road Construction Co., Traffic Services Inc., Maintenance Coatings Co.
OWNER: Village of Algonquin
DESCRIPTION: The Main Street Reconstruction project has been an exemplary decades-long transformative planning and engineering effort by the Village of Algonquin to complete an innovative and multimodal repurposing of a former State Highway to a community “Main Street” that highlights existing historic features, is an attractive place for shops, restaurants, and businesses, and a community center for residents/visitors to enjoy for years to come. This overall planning and engineering effort included working with multiple agencies on the relocation of IL Route 31 to the west, preparing the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan, Phase I Engineering, Phase II Engineering, and Construction via multiple phases. Construction of Phase A, the south section of Main Street, was completed in December of 2019, and construction of Phase B, the north section of Main Street and the Harrison Street Bike Path/Lane, was finally completed and open to use (traffic, pedestrians, bicyclist) in May of 2023. Completion of the Main Street Reconstruction Phase B in May 2023 was the culmination of a decades-long planning and engineering effort to transform Historic Downtown Algonquin. These efforts began with the vision of relocating IL Route 31 (i.e., Main Street), a State Highway through town Algonquin, to a western bypass to improve the flow of traffic throughout Southeastern McHenry County. The IL Route 31 Western Bypass provided the opportunity to transform the character of Main Street and the historic downtown area of Algonquin to incorporate community-centered street, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements that attracts residents and businesses back into an exciting, vibrant, yet quaint historic downtown setting. Construction Phase A (south section) included reconstruction of all underground/wet utilities, buried all of the overhead/dry utilities, reconstructed the pavement, and created pedestrian friendly and attractive streetscape elements that has prompted investment and redevelopment that will continue for all to enjoy for years to come. Construction Phase B (north section) included a road diet to correct geometry, a new separate bicycle path east of the roadway and new sidewalk to the west, and a new modern roundabout at the intersection of Main Street, Cary Road, and Arrow head Drive. This location provided unique design challenges based on the topography and adjacent sensitive lands with the historic building in the southwest quadrant (A-frame building), cemetery in the northeast quadrant, and commercial development in the northwest and southeast corners. All required thoughtful coordination with affected property owners. In addition, Construction Phase B included a bike path switchback design at Riverview Drive/Park Street to provide a connection to the Harrison Street Bike Lane/Path that provides a connection to the regional Prairie Trail at the south end of the downtown area.
In summary, the recent completion of Construction Phase B is the culmination of an exemplary multi-agency planning and engineering effort over an extended period of time to provide a right-sized, community-focused, multimodal, and sustainable transportation improvement. Both Construction Phase A and Phase B were completed on time and under budget and the transformation that was envisioned has been successfully completed.