Glidden to undergo repairs

By Laura Grandt

A new construction project slated to begin in May will ease traffic congestion at the intersection of Annie Glidden Road and Taylor Street.

The project will add left turn lanes, extending 400 feet, to both the north and southbound lanes of Annie Glidden Road, as well as a temporary signal at the Taylor Street intersection, said Joel Maurer, assistant city engineer at the Public Works Department.

Because of this solution, traffic “should flow a lot better,” Maurer said. “[The project] would improve traffic movement on Annie Glidden, especially.”

The lights will not be suspended from wires, but will consist of mast arms and posts like permanent fixtures, Maurer said. The signals will be created from used inventory stock.

The estimated $140,000 project is scheduled to start in mid-May and should be completed in late July.

Sixth Ward Alderman Dave Baker said the project is a temporary solution to an ongoing traffic problem.

Last year, the DeKalb City Council gave the nod to begin drawing up engineering plans for the long-term solution. The plan is to widen Annie Glidden Road from Route 38 to Fairview Drive, Maurer said.

This measure will not occur for another three to four years because of its scale. The multi-million dollar project will provide for two lanes in each direction and turn lanes at intersections, Maurer said.

The permanent plan to repair Annie Glidden Road will cost about $15 million, Baker said. DeKalb will be responsible for about $2 to $3 million of the price tag. The remainder will come from federal funding. Planning in advance will help avoid a possible situation, in which engineering plans will not be complete in time to apply for the funding, Baker said.

Baker and 5th Ward Alderman Pat Conboy were major contributing factors to the widening of Annie Glidden Road, a notion Baker attributes to the road running through their wards.

Baker and Maurer attribute the increased traffic in recent years to more commuters at NIU. Baker added that increased housing on the west side of DeKalb also could be a cause.