Illinois Route 31

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Illinois Route 31 marker

Illinois Route 31
Route information
Maintained by IDOT
Length: 58.41 mi[2] (94.00 km)
Existed: 1937[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: US 34 in Oswego
  US 30 in Montgomery

I-88 / IL 56 / IL 110 (CKC) in North Aurora
I-90 in Elgin
US 14 in Crystal Lake
North end: US 12 in Richmond
Location
Counties: Kendall, Kane, McHenry
Highway system
US 30 IL 32

Illinois Route 31 (IL 31) is a north–south state road in northeastern Illinois, United States. It travels from U.S. Route 34 (US 34) in Oswego north to US 12, near the Wisconsin state line, just south of Richmond. IL 31 is 58.41 miles (94.00 km) long.[2]

Route description[edit]

IL 31 follows the Fox River along the western bank. It parallels IL 25, which travels along the eastern bank of the Fox River. It travels concurrent with IL 120 in McHenry.

IL 31 is called Richmond Road north of IL 120 and Front Street south of IL 120 in McHenry, Main Street in Algonquin, Western Avenue in Carpentersville, Eighth Street in West Dundee, State Street in Elgin, La Fox Street in South Elgin, Second Street in St. Charles, First Street in Geneva, Batavia Avenue in Batavia, Lincolnway in North Aurora, Lake Street (Southbound) and River Street (Northbound) in Aurora. It is also, along with IL 25, signed as part of the Fox River Valley area. IL 31 between Aurora and Geneva was considered part of the Lincoln Highway transcontinental route.

History[edit]

SBI Route 31 traveled from Quincy to Canton along various routes. This was dropped in 1935. In 1937, it was reapplied along other routes on its modern routing. There have been no changes to the routing since.[1]

U.S. Route 430[edit]

U.S. Highway 430

U.S. Route 430 (US 430) was commissioned from 1926 to 1934 in the U.S. state of Illinois, and traveled from Aurora to Crystal Lake. It traveled concurrent with US 30 from Aurora to Geneva at present-day IL 38. US 430 was dropped in 1934 and replaced in its entirety with IL 31.

Future[edit]

There have long existed plans for a four-lane limited access bypass to be constructed west of downtown Algonquin. This would alleviate traffic at what is currently the most congested intersection in McHenry County, and divert through traffic. Widening the existing roadway isn't an option due to the close proximity of the buildings of downtown Algonquin to the road.

The bypass would start on the south at IL 31's intersection with Huntington Drive and would loop west of downtown Algonquin northward to the northern village limits. An interchange with Algonquin Road would also be constructed.

The bypass was even featured on the front cover of IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation)'s Capital Improvements Plan during the Republican George Ryan years but was completely taken off the project list under Democrat Rod Blagojevich's administration. McHenry County is heavily Republican, and partisan politics may have been involved in the decision. The construction cost continues to go up as time goes by, and is now estimated at around $80 million. Even after U.S. Congressman Donald Manzullo secured millions in federal funding for the project, the State of Illinois has failed to match the funding, further delaying the project. A coalition of elected officials in McHenry County has recently made aggressive pushes to get the State to fund and build the Bypass, including a number of news conferences and a trip to the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

In 2013 ground was finally broken on the bypass, now formally known as the Western Algonquin Bypass. Construction will continue until its planned opening in late August 2014.

The original limited-access expressway plans with multiple interchanges and a several-mile-long expressway from south of Algonquin to Rakow Road published in the local newspapers before construction started have been greatly reduced to a single diamond interchange at Algonquin Road[3] with signalized intersections at both termini of the approximately 0.5-mile-long (0.80 km) above-grade limited-access section and a speed limit of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) with the existing IL 31 approaching the limited-access section from the north widened to a four-lane divided highway from Old IL 31 to Rakow Road.[citation needed]

The last time the Fox Valley Freeway was studied in the 1990s, it was proposed that the alignment be to the west of Algonquin towards Randall Road and that the limited-access western bypass of Algonquin continue to the north and bypass McHenry to the west and connect to the proposed bypass of Richmond to form a complete expressway from near Elgin to the Wisconsin state line and the US 12 freeway in Wisconsin.[4]

There is also an interchange with IL 14 with IL 31 traveling above grade over the Metra Northwestern line tracks and below grade under IL 14 with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). This limited-access portion is about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from the frontage road entrance south of Crystal Lake Avenue to Three Oaks Road, with stop lights at both of its termini, including a former five-way intersection with IL 176. This limited-access portion predated construction of the Western Algonquin bypass by decades.[citation needed]

The highly congested IL 31 and Charles J. Miller Road intersection will also be improved with road widening to a divided highway with a grassy median and concrete median, dual left turn lanes, and dedicated right turn lanes. Those two roads at that intersection currently each have about 20,000 vehicles per day travel on them, with 30,000 vehicles per day predicted by 2030. The project is scheduled to break ground in spring 2015 and be substantially complete by the end of fall 2015.[5]

The intersection of IL Rt 31 and IL Rt 120 is now the most congested intersection in McHenry county with the IL Rt 32 and IL Rt 62 intersection no longer being the most congested intersection with the construction of the Western Algonquin Bypass. A bypass of McHenry continues to appear in documents planning for a Metra station at Prairie Grove, that include an interchange with the existing IL Rt 31 alignment and the proposed west McHenry bypass alignment to the north of Gracy Road.[6] The west McHenry bypass was originally planned to travel over undeveloped farm lands from north of IL 31 and Gracy Road to IL 120 and Ringwood Road. The corridor was planned to be protected from development in the mid 1990s, but due to lack of funding the corridor was never protected from development. [7] Unfortunately, the corridor has since been developed on. [8]



The Western Algonquin Bypass is not the only limited-access bypass on the table as of 2015.[9] A southern Algonquin bypass is being revived, due to funding constraints, with tolls collected by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority for compatibility with I-Pass, and an arterial roadway rather than an expressway on the approaches to the toll bridge. The road would not be part of the Illinois Tollway system though, as is the same for the Chicago Skyway Tollbridge, though IPass is accepted on toll bridges. Algonquin Road wouldn't actually be re-routed onto the proposed tollway (or toll bridge to be legal). There is currently no law against tolling the approaches to a toll bridge and there is no law specifing a maximum length of toll bridge approach roads that can be tolled.[citation needed]

A $1.50 toll to cross the Fox River is proposed. It is unknown if cash would be accepted or if I-Pass users would receive a discount. It is proposed that the toll be removed once the project bonds are paid back.[10]

The Longmeadow Parkway Fox River Bridge Corridor is a proposed four-lane Fox River Bridge crossing and four-lane arterial roadway corridor with a median, approximately 5.6 miles (9.0 km) in length, to alleviate traffic congestion in northern Kane County. The proposed road passes through portions of the Villages of Algonquin, Carpentersville, and Barrington Hills, as well as unincorporated areas of Kane County. The western terminus is at Huntley Road west of Randall Road, approximately 1,300 feet (400 m) northwest of the Huntley/Boyer intersection. From Huntley Road to the Fox River, the corridor primarily traverses mostly undeveloped properties or new subdivisions; these subdivisions were developed with a dedicated right-of-way to accommodate the proposed corridor. After crossing the river, the corridor parallels existing Bolz Road, to the eastern project terminus at IL 62.

The project was earmarked $4 million in federal SAFETEA-LU funds, $5 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds, nearly $1 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds, nearly $1 million in state of Illinois Truck Access Route Program funds, and an additional $40-million commitment from the State of Illinois.The preliminary construction cost estimate is $97 million.[citation needed]

The proposed Longmeadow Parkway Bridge Corridor is envisioned as a regional roadway stretching from Huntley Road to IL 62 with a new bridge over the Fox River. The project received $4 million in the Federal Transportation Bill (SAFETEA-LU), however with a preliminary construction cost estimate of $97M, many project elements remain unfunded. With limited options to address the funding shortfall, eleven local governments in the Upper Fox Valley region passed resolutions requesting that Kane County consider funding the bridge through a user fee (toll funding). Based upon this request, the Kane County Board agreed to establish a Longmeadow Parkway Toll Bridge Task Force.[citation needed]

Phase I Engineering - County Board approved an amended Phase I Engineering agreement on November 8, 2011 for the work necessary to complete the Phase I Engineering for the corridor (including toll elements). Phase I Design Approval was obtained on December 4, 2013. Clearing the way for Phase II engineering.[citation needed]

Phase II Engineering - In July 2013 the County Board approved engineering agreements with four separate engineering firms to prepare contract documents and obtain environmental permits in preparation for bid opening in late 2015.[citation needed]

Land Acquisition - County Board approved an amended right-of-way funding agreement which provides over $13.7M for land acquisition. Land acquisition continues throughout the corridor until this funding is exhausted.[citation needed]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[11] km Destinations Notes
Kendall Oswego 0.0 0.0 US 34 (West Washington Street)
Kane Montgomery 2.8 4.5 US 30 (Lincoln Highway) – Joliet, Sugar Grove Interchange
North Aurora 8.6 13.8
I-88 / IL 56 west / IL 110 (CKC) (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway) – DeKalb, Chicago
Interchange, southern end of IL 56 concurrency
9.4 15.1 IL 56 (West State Street) Northern end of IL 56 concurrency
Geneva 15.4 24.8 IL 38 (State Street / Lincoln Highway)
St. Charles 17.4 28.0 IL 64 (Main Street)
Elgin 26.4 42.5 US 20 (Elgin Bypass) – Rockford, Chicago Interchange
29.7 47.8 I-90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) – Chicago, Wisconsin Interchange
West Dundee 31.9 51.3 IL 72 (Main Street)
McHenry Algonquin 37.0 59.5 IL 62 east (Algonquin Road) Western terminus of IL 62; Interchange
Crystal Lake 41.2 66.3 US 14 (Northwest Highway) Interchange
42.8 68.9 IL 176 (Terra Cotte Avenue)
McHenry 49.5 79.7 IL 120 west (Elm Street) Western end of IL 120 concurrency
49.9 80.3 IL 120 east (Elm Street) Eastern end of IL 120 concurrency
Richmond 57.9 93.2 US 12 / CR A16 west (Tryon Grove Road)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing