Fairfield Road/IL Route 176 Junction Improvement Lake County Division of Transportation

Fairfield Road/IL Route 176 Junction Improvement
Lake County Division of Transportation

Gaining acceptance of a proposed roadway improvement can be challenging as it requires stakeholders to imagine the end result of what a project may look like, which can oftentimes be difficult. This is particularly true when a concept other than a typical improvement is being considered. More and more, it is necessary to use sophisticated visualization tools to communicate the future operation as well as the look and feel of alternatives.

We have employed such tools on a project for the Lake County Division of Transportation at the intersection of Fairfield Road/IL Route 176. This intersection is severely congested during the peak periods of the day and alternatives are being investigated to increase capacity. Because the intersection is completely surrounded by the Lakewood Forest Preserve, great consideration was given to the overall impacts of an improvement as well as the aesthetics. Three alternates were investigated, including a standard intersection widening, a roundabout and a grade separation with a connector roadway to accommodate turning movements. Because two of these alternates were not “typical” intersection improvements, 3D digital terrain models were developed for each of the alternates illustrating what they could look like upon completion. In addition, traffic simulation models were created for each alternate to show the operation of the improvements. After extensive public involvement as well as coordination with the Lake County Forest Preserve District, the At-Grade Intersection Improvement was selected as the preferred alternative.

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