Lake in the Hills village officials say McHenry County’s proposal for a continuous flow intersection at Randall and Algonquin roads is too expensive — about $36 million more than the alternative.
The village has done its own analysis on the difference in cost between the continuous flow intersection, or CFI, proposed by the McHenry County Department of Transportation and the more traditional intersection improvement, which would entail adding left- and right-turn lanes. The village has presented its findings to the county, Village Administrator Gerald Sagona said.
“We’re just relaying information and doing our homework,” Sagona said. “We’re hoping the county is listening to not only the elected officials but also the business owners.”
The village’s cost estimate factored in losses in property tax, sales tax and other tax revenues over the next 20 years from the Bank of America and Citgo gas station properties, if they were acquired for the road widening project.
Sagona said the property owner of the shopping center housing the former Lake in the Hills Dominick’s at Randall and Algonquin roads also has sent a letter to the county opposing the proposed CFI intersection.
The Dominick’s closed in late December after parent company Safeway pulled out of the Chicago market.
Richard Robey, senior vice president of Edgemark Asset Management LLC, said in his letter to the county’s transportation department that the firm lost a potential retailer wanting to locate at the Dominick’s site because of the proposed CFI.
Two retailers were interested in splitting up the Dominick’s space, according to village officials.
Robey noted in his letter that the CFI would make it difficult to access the four shopping centers at that intersection. He estimated the Centre at Lake in the Hills shopping center could lose $1.3 million in rental income in the first year and more than $10 million in the property’s future sales value if the CFI proposal came to fruition.
“I cannot help but point out that this plan kills, or at the minimum, severely damages over $100 million in retail real estate values,” Robey wrote.
McHenry County Administrator Pete Austin said Monday officials have not had a chance to review Lake in the Hills’ analysis, nor have they set a meeting with village leaders and the business community on the matter.
“We are just starting phase two of this engineering project,” Austin said. “We’re looking forward to a good dialogue with Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and their business communities.”
County officials are working with the engineering firm hired for phase two, TranSystems and Bollinger Lach and Associates, on developing a timeline for those meetings.
The 3.5-mile Randall Road improvement project is estimated to cost roughly $115 million, including construction, land acquisition and engineering. The CFI alone is expected to cost roughly $13 million for construction, according to county officials.
The segment of Randall Road being improved falls within three villages: Algonquin (Algonquin Commons north to Algonquin Road), Lake in the Hills (Algonquin Road north to Ackman, west of Randall) and Crystal Lake (Miller Road north to Ackman, east of Randall). The project calls for widening the entire stretch to three lanes in each direction, building dual left-turn lanes and right-turn-only lanes at major signaled intersections.
The McHenry County Board recently approved spending up to $15.9 million for the design phase of Randall Road widening, which includes money for securing land needed for the project. County officials have said the project designers will work with the affected communities, property owners and businesses to further address their concerns. Officials also are willing to compromise on the CFI and reduce the number of access points and curb cuts.
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