Barrington Moves Forward on Project to Improve Safety at Lake Zurich Road/Route 14 Intersection
At its February 26 regular meeting, the Village of Barrington Board of Trustees approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Barrington Area Library to begin the re-routing of Lake Zurich Road to intersect U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) at the existing traffic signal at Berry Road. The agreement provides that in order to finalize land acquisition and begin construction on the project, the Village would purchase a parcel of land from the Barrington Area Library at the library’s appraised price, subject to Illinois Department of Transportation concurrence, which is paying a significant portion of the project. This project is currently fully funded via state, federal, and budgeted Village funds.
Citing long-time safety concerns, the Village Board and staff have been working with various agencies on plans to re-route the road as part of major infrastructure improvements in the Village (see attached rendering). The current Lake Zurich Road/Route 14 intersection sits on a curve of Route 14 with no traffic signal; its history includes a fatality and a disabling injury among numerous accidents in recent years, with 14 accidents occurring in a recent 18-month period.
In addition to significant public safety improvements at the intersection, the project will also provide numerous safety and other benefits to the Barrington Area Library, including:
- Removal of the main traffic aisle from the front of the Barrington Library (patrons will no longer need to walk in front of parking lot traffic to get to the main entrance)
- A safer Library walkway along Route 14 (currently the Library path along Route 14 is as little as 3’ from the curb of Northwest Highway -- this project would move it 10’ away to make it safer for pedestrians)
- A dedicated left turn arrow (protected status) for Northwest Highway traffic traveling southeast bound to turn onto Lake Zurich road and then enter the Library at the roundabout (see below)
- The construction of a new entrance to the Library from the relocated Lake Zurich road by means of a small roundabout, to be constructed at no cost to the Library
- Full reconstruction and landscaping of the Library parking lot at no cost to the Library
- The construction of a storm water detention area to serve the needs of the Lake Zurich Road relocation project and the Library at no cost to the Library
- An increase in available parking stalls for the Barrington Area Library
- New handicapped parking at the Library with fully accessible routes to and from the building without having to cross a traffic aisle
- Removal of the Library’s obligation to pay traffic signal maintenance costs for the Berry Road traffic signal
- Removal of rain water storage on the parking lot pavement at the Barrington Area Library
- Removal of diseased or dead trees on both properties
- New energy efficient LED lighting along Lake Zurich Road and in the Library parking lot
In 2012, more than 500 of members of the public provided input on the potential re-routing of Lake Zurich Road to improve this intersection. Of those submitting written comments, 88% of respondents supported relocating Lake Zurich Road to align with the Berry Road traffic signal.
Currently, the re-routing project is fully funded and is moving forward. The Barrington Park District has provided its initial approval, and 6 of 7 land acquisitions have been completed on the west side of Route 14 at Berry Road. Small easements were required from 5 homeowners on Berry Road and only a couple hundred square feet were required of the two corner parcels in order to re-configure the current intersection. The Barrington Area Library is currently considering the proposal and the Village is awaiting its commitment. Communities within the boundaries of the Library district have expressed support for the project.
“This is an infrastructure improvement project in the Village that will greatly improve safety for the residents of the greater Barrington area, as well as for the patrons of Citizens Park and the Barrington Area Library,” said Village President Karen Darch. “This intersection has long been extremely problematic, and the Village has been working very cooperatively with all interested parties to assemble the necessary pieces to complete this improvement. We have the funding in place to move forward, and so we are pleased to offer this agreement to the Library Board and look forward to receiving the Library’s appraisal and their Board’s approval of this agreement.”