Now that 2013 has rung in, Deerfield residents may be anticipating many things about the new year. But it is highly unlikely commuters are looking forward to the construction project slated for Lake-Cook Road starting in March.
Deerfield Village Manager Kent Street put the inconvenience succinctly, “It’s going to be a challenge.”
As Patch has previously reported, the Cook County Highway Department is scheduled to do a massive renovation of Lake-Cook Road from the area just east of the Metra stop through Waukegan Road to the area west of Northbrook Court. The project is scheduled to be completed in November.
Once the project is done, the major east west thoroughfare will have three lanes in each direction and intersection with Waukegan Road will be improved, and there will be a second left turn lane for northbound and southbound Waukegan Road at Lake-Cook.
Since this is not a Deerfield project, the village does not have direct control over it but Street said the Cook County Highway Department is seeking bids for the project now and they will be opened in February.
Probably what is more important to the average commuter is the pledge Street said he received about keeping people up to date with the status of the work unfolds.
“The Cook County Highway Department has made a commitment to the villages of Deerfield and Northbrook to meet with area residents and businesses before the project starts as well as maintain communication during the project,” he said.
Street noted when Lake-Cook Road is done, that means the village will then turn its focus to reconstructing Deerfield Road from Waukegan Road east to Highland Park.
No specific time has been set for that endevour. “We are working now with Lake County on how best to proceed with that project both in timing and funding concerns, which are both being reviewed.”
In terms of other public works projects for Deerfield in 2013, Street anticipated basic road and utility repairs, but nothing near the scale of the Lake-Cook Road situation.
Aside from the roads, Street said one of the challenges the village will deal with in 2013 is what to do with the Deerbrook Mall on Waukegan Road. Big box retailer Best Buy moved out in August leaving a large retail hole.
“We are continuing to work with owners for successful tenant placement and consideration of redevelopment plans,” Street said.
Repeated phone to representatives of the mall’s ownership were not returned.