Featuring Photos, Videos, & Interviews During the Construction
As the construction begins on the Rollins Road Gateway Project at Route 83 and Rollins Road you will find updates, photos, and videos as soon as they become available to show how the construction is progressing along with traffic issues. This page will contain a separate running blog update on what is going on in the construction zone once it gets started. You can also click on our RSS feed to get regular upates on all new posts.
Click on an image below to view ongoing construction scenes taken every half hour from either Camera A (Rollins Road) or camera B (Route 83)
You may not notice the work going on at the Rollins Road Gateway Project since it is kind of out of sight right now. However, the following will give you an update based on information received by the resident engineer on the project.
This week, the contractor will continue excavation for the new railroad bridge. By the end of the week, the second level of ground anchors should be installed. They will also continue removing the old Rollins Road pavement and may start with some storm sewer installation for the new Rollins.
On Saturday, March 1, the contractor is tentatively planning to drive test piles for the new bridge foundations. These piles will be H-sections, meaning their cross-section looks like a letter H, different from the sheet piles the contractor has driven to date. The contractor plans to hammer 40’ long sections into the ground, splicing on additional length as needed, until a satisfactory bearing strength is determined. This data from the test piles will then be used to calculate how long the remaining piles to need to be to do their job.
The purpose of the piles is to support the weight of the bridge and the train traffic into the soil below. The friction between the soil and the surface of the pile is what provides most of this support. If all goes well, the remaining piles for this stage of the work will be installed the weeks of March 10th and 17th.
Please note that the piling operation is loud and creates vibrations as they are driven into the ground. If you notice this, please do not be alarmed; it is a normal part of this operation
We have a few more updates for you regarding the railroad crossing signals at Rollins Road. A signal cable between Rollins and Hook was severed, so the signal gates cannot function normally. The railroad is treating this as an emergency situation, so it will be repaired as soon as practical. In the meantime, SB trains have been slowed during off work hours to allow the detection equipment and the crossing to function normally. During working days, the railroad will have flaggers stationed at the crossing to stop cars and allow trains to run at normal speeds.
Work is continuing on the soil retention system. The first level of ground anchors is nearly complete. Some storm sewer and water main work may begin in the next week or two if weather allows.
Progress has slowed somewhat, and we now expect the steel for the new rail bridge to be placed in late April.
Below are answers to additional questions that have been answered by the project engineer:
Why is the new pavement so bumpy/rough?
Please keep in mind, the new pavement you are driving on is only temporary. It is only intended to be in place until this summer. As a result, the asphalt pavement and the stone bedding beneath it are thinner (therefore less costly) than you would normally find on a road of this size. Our best guess based on past experience, it that the moisture in the soil beneath the road is freezing and expanding. Because the pavement is thinner, it is more flexible and unable to bridge the unevenly expanded soil below. Once we experience a sustained thaw, we expect most of the bumps will being settling out.
Can’t the bumps be fixed now?
Asphalt plants in the area do not usually stay open during the winter, since asphalt is particularly weather sensitive. As a result, it would be difficult to find material to resurface the bumpy pavement. Another option that’s been tried in the past is to mill the high spots down. Unfortunately, it’s been found that when the ground thaws, these now become low spots that collect water. With the freeze-thaw cycle we usually see in the spring, these can turn into nasty potholes. At this point, we feel the best course of action is to wait until spring and see if the problem corrects itself. Any significant problems that remain could then be safely addressed until the new, much studier permanent pavement is installed.
The signals at IL 83 and Rollins seem too short, especially the left turns. Can the timing be adjusted?
As part of the contract, a signal consultant has been retained for this project. Their role is to examine the traffic patterns at different times of days and adjust the signal timing to allow traffic to flow as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, there are times that there just isn’t enough capacity to take time from one direction without having a far worse impact on another direction. Also, when a train passes through, the timing of the signals changes to allow Rollins/IL 83 to re-sync with the surrounding intersections. As a result, this can shorten the duration of the left turns until it can be re-synced. This process may take several cycles, which can seem frustratingly long. The consultant has responded to the concerns we’ve heard and has re-evaluated and adjusted the timing where possible.
[Details above are from Mark S. Molnar, PE | Resident Project Manager]
This afternoon, the Rollins Road railroad crossing began experiencing signal problems. It’s possible, but unconfirmed, that the line was severed during installation of the temporary soil retention system for the new bridge abutments at Rollins Road. The railroad is currently working on diagnosing the problem and coming up with a solution.
In the meantime, they will have to use alternate means to safely allow the trains to cross Rollins. For now, that means the conductors walking the train across, so please use caution at the crossing.
UPDATE: The railroad crossing signals at Rollins have been restored. The problem cable has not been repaired yet, but they were able to reroute the detection for SB trains to allow the signals to function. This does force the SB trains to reduce their speeds to 25 MPH until the cable is restored, so you will notice them moving more slowly for the time being.
[This was a message from the Resident Project Manager. Mark S. Molnar starting at 4:26 PM Wednesday]
The following is a very short timelapse video showing the construction on Route 83 looking south from PepBoys/Hobby Lobby towards the new bridge installation over old Rollins Road. These are many snapshots taken at 1/2 hour intervals to create a timeline from January 1st to February 6th to show everyone that, even with the cold weather, there is work going on at the construction site.
The following is a timelapse video showing the construction on Rollins Road past Gateway Park up to the west side of the railroad tracks, including the Hainesville Road reconfiguration. It shows the beginning up until the end of 2013.
The following is a timelapse video showing the construction on Route 83 looking south from PepBoys/Hobby Lobby towards the new bridge installation over old Rollins Road. It shows the beginning of construction up until the end of 2013.
After taking a few days off from a hectic schedule to complete the opening of the Rollins Road Bypass by Thanksgiving Day, the crews were back at work in full force today. With temperatures in the mid-40′s for the balance of the week they are hoping to keep up the same pace and complete the project on schedule a year from now.
I received the following email from Al Giertych which I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing with everyone:
Thanks for the positive feedback, it’s nice to know that the public appreciates the progress that is being made on this very complex and challenging project.
I know that our entire project team worked very hard to get this most recent stage of work completed and open to traffic given our aggressive work schedule and the challenging weather conditions. We are now set to begin the next phase of work which will involve excavating for the new roadway and constructing the new railroad bridge. We are hopeful that weather will permit much of the upcoming work to continue during the winter months so that we can maintain our goal of having the new improvement open to traffic by this time next year.
We are very grateful to Mark Molnar, Dan Gross and our construction management group at Alfred Benesch & Company as well as to our contractors and the Wisconsin Central Ltd. Railroad work crews for their hard work in completing this most recent stage of work. Please feel free to share our project website link at http://www.rollinsroadgateway.com/ with anyone that is interested and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information about this exciting highway improvement.
Al Giertych, PE
Assistant County Engineer
Lake County Division of Transportation
WOO-HOO! Late Wednesday afternoon the Rollins Road Bypass was officially opened up to thru traffic. The bypass runs along Gateway Park on the West side of the railroad tracks past Hainesville Road. Then it passes over the railroad tracks at a brand new location just South of the previous rail crossing. It then meets up with Route 83 on the East side of the tracks and continues on to the two new shopping mall entrances in front of Jewel-Osco and Mrs. V’s Restaurant before heading on to Route 45 in Gurnee.
On Monday the County opened up Washington Street as it runs through Round Lake and Round Lake Park to through traffic. I took a ride past the construction area and it appears as though they don’t have the final asphalt topcoat put down since the asphalt does not meet up with the concrete curbing. There is still a lot of work to be done in the future if they plan to make it three lanes wide with bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides. At least it’s open for now to help alleviate the traffic congestion caused by the closure of Rollins Road (which is expected to open on the new bypass November 27th)
They may have missed the target date of opening up the new bridge over Rollins Road by one day but with better weather today lane striping and more guard rails were installed and the bridge was officially opened to traffic. There was a banner hanging from the new bridge that I first thought was a prankster’s piece of work but after zooming in on it I saw that it was the name of the bridge manufacturer. If you want to see a Youtube video of how they are made, here is a link:
The pagenation (showing earlier posts) is not working on this page but you can view snapshots of all Rollins Road Gateway Update posts by clicking HERE