After Series of Accidents, Authorities Take Second Look at Busy Lake County Interchange

One of the busiest interchanges in Lake County has quickly turned into one of the most dangerous, according to some commuters, and authorities are now considering another round of construction in what was recently the focus of a multi-million project.

The exit ramp from Interstate 94 to Grand Avenue in Gurnee was recently renovated in a $19.4 million reconstruction project aimed at improving the congested area that leads to some of the city’s most popular attractions. But in the months following the renovations, a series of accidents has highlighted what many say is a major travel problem.

“A lot of people do stay in the right lane and they cross over and that’s when the accidents happen,” said motorist Steve Norton.

In September, eight people were injured after a semi plowed into cars standing still waiting to exit. In November, a Round Lake Beach man’s car was totaled when he was caught in a multivehicle, chain reaction collision while waiting to exit.

The Illinois Tollway Authority says it is now looking at the exit again.

“Engineering staff is preparing to make further improvements in summer 2017, including constructing a barrier wall to separate the westbound exiting traffic from the I-94 mainline traffic,” the tollway authority said in a statement. “This structure will be an extension of the barrier wall already separating the eastbound exiting traffic from I-94 mainline traffic.”

In addition, they plan to evaluate signage in the area to direct through traffic to the three left lanes, limiting the right lane to just those exiting to Grand Avenue.

But area residents say they’re not pleased at the idea of more construction in an area that already garners traffic for Six Flags Great America, Gurnee Mills and KeyLime Cove Resort.

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