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)
Latest Information from Mark Molnar ~ Project Manager
On April, 22, the contractor successfully placed the two girders for the new railroad bridge as can be seen in the attached photo. These girders are designed to carry the weight of the bridge (with the tracks, ballast, and train) to the bridge abutments. The next step in building this bridge will be installing the floor beams and other steel that carry the weight of the train, tracks, etc. to the girders.
Over the next few weeks, the contractor will install the remaining structural steel and they expect the bridge to be complete by the end of May. The railroad will then install the ballast and new tracks before switching service to this new alignment during the following several weeks. The contractor has also begun work on the south embankment for the new railroad track alignment in preparation for the railroad’s track work.
Work is continuing on the retaining walls north and south of the new bridge. Concrete will be placed over several different days. When complete, these walls will hold back the new railroad tracks while IL 83 drops to the new intersection below the bridge. Also, installation of new water main and storm sewers will take place on s. IL 83.
There are tentative plans to re-start work on Hainesville and the shopping center entrances in a couple weeks. The asphalt supplier will be re-opening their plant for the spring then, which will allow the contractor to begin that work, along with the associated curb and sidewalk work in those areas.
Tom Bock who works for Home Towne Electric, the contractor doing the signal work on the project, sent me another aerial view of the project from his airplane the other day. I added one indicator showing which way was North on the photo to help you get oriented. With the weather getting warmer and the turf not quite so muddy, I’m hoping to be at the site more often to continue giving you updates on a more frequent basis. I will also be over on Washington Street in Round Lake Park to bring you updates on the street widening from Cedar Lake Road to Hainesville Road. Just a reminder for those travelling southbound on Mallard Creek Drive. There is NO LEFT TURN allowed to turn east onto Rollins Road. A friend of mine just paid a $150 fine even though there are plenty of new street markings, orange cones, flags, and signage.
Detour Route: Cedar Lake Road, to IL Route 134 to IL Route 120 to Hainesville Road
Does this look familiar? Get ready for some more local road closures.
According to the Lake County Division of Transportation they will be closing Washington Street to through traffic from Cedar Lake Road, to Hainesville Road, on March 31. The closure will begin at 6 a.m. and will reopen to traffic four months later. The closure is necessary as part of the Washington Street reconstruction and widening project. In the fall of 2013, Washington Street was reconstructed from Cedar Lake Road to Linden Drive. The upcoming closure is to complete the reconstruction from Linden Drive to west of Hainesville Road.
You may already notice some construction activities that have been going on in early March and will also include:
- Relocate contractor equipment from Dorothy Lane
- Install storm sewer between Bellevue Drive and Fairlawn Drive and along Midland Drive
- Install storm sewer on the north side of Washington Street from Linden Drive and to the east to Catalpa Drive (Sidewalk closure necessary for this work, restore with a temporary aggregate sidewalk)
- Install storm sewer on the south side of Washington Street from Arbor Drive to east of Ravine Drive
- Once Chlorination has been completed on Cedar Lake Road – Installation of Water Service outside of the roadway will be completed (date to be determined-short disruptions in service will occur)
This work may require some daily lane closures or a section of work zone near the travel way of Washington Street. However the road will remain open. Motorists should use caution during the next few weeks and watch for construction workers, equipment, and flaggers.
This is just a five minute drive around the Rollins Road Gateway project area to give you an idea of some of the work going on. Asphalt continues to be broken up and removed in front of the Mallard Creek shopping center where McDonald’s is located. It’s hard to tell what is snow piled up and dirt piled up in front of PepBoys and Hobby Lobby. What I call the “pit” is where the new Route 83 will intersect with the new Rollins Road at a much lower grade. I’m hoping to have some video of that particular area if I can get the general contractor to give me an escort.
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.
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