US Rt. 41 (Skokie Highway) at IL Rt. 176 (Rockland Road) is located in east central Lake County partially within Lake Bluff and partially within unincorporated Shields Township. In this area US Rt. 41 is a vital north-south link from Chicago's northern suburbs to the Wisconsin border.

Approximate Traffic Volumes
US Rt. 41 46,000 vehicles/day
IL Rt. 176 15,000 vehicles/day

These traffic volumes are anticipated to increase in the future to a modest degree due to general regional growth and development.

Since the US Rt. 41 and IL Rt. 176 interchange experiences considerable daily traffic congestion and notable safety concerns, the Village, in coordination with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) and Shields Township, has completed a Phase I Engineering and Environmental Study (Phase I Study) to evaluate alternatives to improve the safety and operations of the interchange in compliance with federal project development procedures. Additional information concerning the Phase I Study is available below or by contacting Village Engineer Jeff Hansen at 847-283-6884.

Safe Access Is Good For Business - Brochure from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Next Step: Letter of Intent

The Phase I Study for the US Rt. 41 at IL Rt. 176 interchange project is nearing completion and will be documented by IDOT and Federal Highway Administration granting design approval which clears the project environmentally, defines the basic improvements, and sets the required right-of-way acquisition prior to the preparation of construction documents and land acquisition.

A Letter of Intent is being prepared by IDOT and the Village to define anticipated cost sharing for specific items of the project that are typically the responsibility of local governments, such as: aesthetic treatments, streetscape items, and a portion of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. The Letter of Intent will define improvements the Village will be partially or wholly responsible for funding and will be documented in an agreement with IDOT before construction begins.

Public Involvement Plan

The Public Involvement Plan (PIP) is a guide for implementing stakeholder involvement for the Phase 1 Study. The PIP is used as a blueprint for defining methods and tools to educate and engage all stakeholders in the decision-making process. It has been designed to ensure that stakeholders are provided a number of opportunities to be informed and engaged as the project progresses. The complete process for the Phase I is provided below:

Project Development Flow Chart


The following information summarizes the Phase I Study process and resulting design for the interchange:


Committee-of-the-Whole Presentation

At its meeting on October 26, 2015, the Committee-of-the-Whole (COW) received a presentation from Christopher Burke Engineering (Consultant) regarding the Phase I project and the process that led to the ultimate selection of the preferred design alternate and the major points of the design. The Consultant also: summarized the comments from the June 25, 2015 public hearing (refer to summary below) that was held at the Lake Bluff Elementary School, outlined the steps remaining to complete the Phase 1 Study and described the future phases of the project.

Public Meetings:

Meeting #5 - Public Hearing

On June 25, 2015, during an open house public hearing held at the Lake Bluff Elementary School, the Preferred Improvement Plan (or Alternate 7 with Access Option 2) was presented by the Village's Consultant to provide the public with an opportunity to discuss the project with the project team members and solicit comments. In addition to the Public Improvement Plan the Consultant presented a determination that the project would not adversely affect the activities, features, or attributes qualifying a park or recreational area (concerning the Lake Bluff Park District Golf Course); this determination is also known as a Section 4(f) De Minimis Documentation.

A total of eight comments were received during the public hearing and in the public comment period following the hearing. Five of the comments were in support of the project and three had specific concerns. Responses to the concerns as well as a general project update can be found in the September 2015 Project Newsletter.

The Preferred Improvement Plan was identified as Alternate 7 in the design process. The following are exhibits showing the proposed improvements from Alternate 7 with Access Option 2:

Alternative 7 - improved acceleration and deceleration lanes to and from US Rt. 41; elevation adjustments to US Rt. 41 to increase sight distances; improved intersections to properly accommodate all vehicles and eliminate confusing operations; widening of Skokie Valley Rd. and Shagbark Rd.; additional through lanes and turn lanes along IL Rt. 176 to handle future traffic demands; and modernized traffic signals.

Access Option 2 - extend W. Washington Avenue to the east and then turning to the north along private property adjacent to the railroad right-of-way. This option leaves the remainder of the parcels contiguous but requires the removal of three buildings.


Meeting #4 - Informational Public Meeting

On September 20, 2012, members of the Project Advisory Group (PAG) and the Project Management Team met to continue to review work on the Phase I Planning Study. Specifically, the purpose of this meeting was to present the two Finalist Alternatives (Alternatives 7 & 8) and two relocated frontage road options to the public for comment.

It was determined both Alternates 7 and 8 are good improvements that would handle the design year (2040) traffic while minimizing socioeconomic and environmental impacts at a reasonable construction cost.The Access Options were also presented for the relocated access road to replace the existing frontage road on the east side of US Route 41 north of W. Washington Avenue that is being displaced with the improvements to US Rt. 41.

The following is an overview of Alternate 8 and Access Option 1 (Alternate 7 and Access Option 2 are provided above):

Alternative 8 - same improvements as Alternative 7 except with modern-day roundabouts along IL Rt. 176 at Skokie Valley Rd. and Shagbark Rd. instead of conventional traffic signals.

Access Option 1 - extend Skokie Valley Rd. to the north between two buildings before curving to the east along private property adjacent to the railroad right-of-way further north. This option minimizes building impacts but bisects several parcels.

A summary report of this meeting, including pictures and diagrams of the Alternatives and Access Options, is available by clicking by clicking on the following link:

Part I Summary Report - September 20, 2012

Part II Summary Report - September 20, 2012

Part III Summary Report - September 20, 2012


Meeting #3 - Public Advisory Group Meeting

On June 26, 2012, 13 members of the Project Advisory Group (PAG) and the Project Management Team met to continue work on the Phase I Planning Study for the US Rt. 41 at IL Rt. 176 Interchange. The Village's Consultant, Christopher Burke Engineering, presented the following information to the PAG: provided a brief overview of the technical reasons why several of the alternatives that had moved forward from the previous PAG meeting were no longer under consideration; and reviewed the results of detailed traffic modeling, traffic signal studies and the summary of socio-economic impacts of the remaining six interchange alternatives still under consideration. Following the Consultant's presentation the PAG broke into three separate workshop groups to discuss reducing the number of remaining interchange alternatives;' all three groups eliminated the same three alternatives. The remaining interchange alternatives include: Alternative 6, Alternative 7 and Alternative 8.


Meeting #2 - Public Advisory Group Meeting

On March 1, 2011, the Public Advisory Group (PAG) for Phase I of the US Rt. 41/IL Rt. 176 Interchange Project held its first meeting and 17 of the 21 individuals whom expressed interest in serving on the PAG attended the meeting. Christopher Burke Engineering, the Village's consultant for the project, presented information concerning the overall history and purpose of the project. The consultants reviewed the Federal Project Development Process that must be followed for the project and the Public Involvement Plan. During the last half of the meeting, the consultant facilitated a workshop session in which the PAG members developed the Project Problem Statement: "The transportation problems at the US Rt. 41 at IL Rt. 176 interchange to be solved by this project are: poor interchange configuration; unsafe conditions for cars, pedestrians, and bikes; general interchange capacity including IL Rt. 176; and poor area drainage."


Meeting #1 - Informational Open House

On November 16, 2010, the Village and IDOT hosted an informational open house concerning the planning for the potential improvement of the U.S. Rt. 41 at IL Rt. 176 interchange. The purpose of the meeting was to seek public input on the transportation needs and issues at the interchange and solicit applications from parties interested serving on a Project Advisory Group (PAG) to assist the Project Management Team (Village, IDOT, Shields Township and Lake County) in the development process. Public notices were placed in the October 26 and November 9, 2010 editions of the Lake County News-Sun, and the October 28 and November 11, 2010 editions of the Lake Forester newspapers. Approximately 160 letters of invitation were sent to public officials and agencies, representatives of local communities, utilities, other governmental agencies and property owners within the project study area. A total of 56 people registered at the meeting.

Public Information Meeting Brochure

Project Exhibits: