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Safety first in Grand Avenue makeover in Lindenhurst

Updated: March 14, 2013 6:27AM

Grand Avenue could get an updated and more pedestrian-friendly look when the state improves this major thoroughfare between Munn and Sand Lake roads in Lindenhurst.

The state project addresses safety issues on Grand Avenue and includes intersection improvements proposed by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Lindenhurst officials said.

“IDOT has identified certain improvements needed between Munn Road and Sand Lake Road,” said Village Administrator Matthew Formica. “The reason why IDOT listed this project as high priority is because it is considered one of the most dangerous state highways in the entire state.”

Police Chief Kevin Klahs said the intersection of Grand and Granada Boulevard is on the state’s most dangerous intersections list.

“We have an awful lot of injury accidents at that intersection,” Klahs said. “Sand Lake and Grand is also problematic. We see a lot of rear-end collisions there.”

Klahs said the state proposes to widen the Grand and Granada intersection to add turn lanes. “Improving this intersection especially would enhance safety.”

Village officials Monday night allocated $12,000 to 3D Design Studio, a Grayslake business specializing in streetscape design, to prepare a concept plan that could be implemented to coincide with the state project.

The IDOT project is still in the preliminary engineering phase. “We wanted to move ahead with the streetscaping plan now so it can be incorporated into the IDOT plans before they are finalized,” said Formica.

IDOT improvements include a sidewalk along one side of Grand Avenue and the other side will have a walking path. The walking path will connect to the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Millennium Trail system near the new operations building on Grand Avenue on the east side of the village.

Meanwhile, village officials are working on a walking path project along Deep Lake Road to the Lake Villa District Library south of Grand Avenue and from Deep Lake Road along Grand Avenue east to Munn Road.

“This would make the entire length of Grand Avenue in the village pedestrian and bike friendly,” said Formica.

3D Design has done similar projects for Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville’s major downtown thoroughfare.

“They most recently did a plan for Peterson Road to tie into the Milwaukee Avenue improvements, to give that road more of a downtown feel,” said Formica, adding that 3D Design also did the Lindenhurst Park District’s master plan.

The 3D plan should be completed later this year and it will be presented to the public for comments.

“We will also take it to some of the local businesses to get some feedback. We want to create a village center-type feel with landscaping, lighting and pedestrian trails with enhancement of banners and benches along Grand Avenue,” said Formica.

“The whole purpose is to create a downtown feel with some character that 3D Design has designed successfully for other municipalities.”

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