Rollins Road Gateway

Lake County Division of Transportation | Round Lake Beach, IL
Aerial view of the Rollins Road Gateway, which includes a new railroad bridge crossing over the intersection of IL 83 and Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach, IL

With 50 trains per day and inadequate turning lane capacity on all legs, the intersection of Rollins Road and Illinois Route 83 in Lake County experienced backups of sometimes several miles along Illinois 83 during peak hours. The existing configuration, which included an at-grade Canadian National Railroad crossing in close proximity to the roadway intersection, crippled the local economy, forcing potential customers away from the struggling shopping centers located on three of the project area’s four quadrants.

Designing an effective solution, therefore, was about much more than simply increasing the intersection’s capacity. The construction of a safer intersection was essential to the creation of an economic engine for the Village of Round Lake Beach that would draw back customers to the corridor.

Benesch assisted the Lake County Division of Transportation with all three phases of the Rollins Road Gateway project: Phase I Planning and Environmental Studies, Phase II Design and Phase III Resident Engineering. We also assisted the County with land acquisition activities of 33 parcels for the project.

The successful coordination of a local business task force with the consultant, client and other stakeholders determined the project’s vision in Phase I: a new railroad grade separation, shifted roadway alignments and widened intersections that would reduce delays while improving area safety. The project’s final plans incorporated several other beneficial features, such as new detention ponds to improve stormwater, as well as much-needed connections to the County’s existing multi-use pathways.

Value Planning techniques were implemented in order to evaluate several elements including staging, complex interchange options and design. Traffic modeling and intersection capacity evaluations were used to analyze the existing and future traffic conditions of the roadway network within the project area, in addition to origin-destination studies which allowed the team to better understand when and why commuters were traveling through the project area.

Temporary runarounds ensured that the project’s major challenges–rail and vehicular traffic, as well as utilities–didn’t affect construction. In total, the design and construction of the Rollins Road Gateway was completed in six and a half years–six months ahead of the County’s ambitious goal. Constructed well below the anticipated budget, the Gateway is as cost-effective as it is innovative.


  • 2016, Project of the Year ($25M - $75M), American Public Works Association
  • 2016, National Recognition Award, American Council of Engineering Companies
  • 2016, Honor Award, American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois