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Bad traffic tough to avoid in Libertyville

Updated: January 6, 2014 12:58PM

To paraphrase John Lennon, bad traffic is what happens to you while you’re busy taking alternate routes.

And so it was that I found myself caught the other day in a truly thick traffic jam that apparently is the current norm for commuters in and around Libertyville, a definition that does not usually include me. I guess you can only hide for so long.

The logjam in this case occurred on northbound Milwaukee Avenue approaching Route 137. Residents and/or drivers in the area are no doubt immediately shaking their heads in wonder. Why would anyone go near there these days as work proceeds on the $22.9 million overhaul of that bustling intersection? Because I kind of forgot about it.

I’ve been aware of the work for months and have scrupulously avoided the work zone at almost all times, even on weekend evenings when heading to the Liberty Theatre to see a “Thor” or “Hunger Games” episode. But I was in a hurry when I left the Lake County Division of Transportation headquarters off Winchester Road, looking to head northeast.

Yes, I left a transportation information center and still got stuck in a transportation nightmare out of ignorance. Go ahead and have your laugh.

Anyway, I caught a light at Milwaukee and turned north, thinking I was lucky. Then I saw the red lights of idle vehicles, stretched out for nearly a mile all the way to Route 137 and a little beyond. Did I mention it was only about 3 p.m.? Is this what you people put up with every day?

Oh, well. Into each life a little traffic pain must flow. As a public service, I should mention that crews are working this week on a new traffic alignment at the aforementioned intersection, and what you see is what you’ll get with this week’s scheduled arrival of hard-core winter.

Speaking of new alignments that will be your constant companion until spring and/or the return of construction season, the official word at the mega-reboot of Rollins Road at Route 83 in Round Lake Beach is that the temporary Rollins bypass road is now open in both directions.

By the way, if you haven’t seen that work zone, you really should go check it out, especially if you ever wondered what the Marshall Plan looked like when it was active. Just plan your visit wisely, if such a thing is possible.

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