Quentin Road Construction Continues

Crews are back to work on Quentin Road but construction is not moving very quick.

“It’s a real son of a gun,” said Palatine resident Peter Dones, “Just a pain for everyone who comes through here.” Dones, who lives on Quentin Road, said the construction on his street has turned into what seems to be a never-ending project.

Dones said no one seems to have any sense of urgency to finish the work, crews come and go as they please and that’s if they even show up at all. “We didn’t see them for weeks, maybe a month and then they came back and now they’re gone, where are they right now?” Dones said outside of his home Tuesday.

Like many people in Palatine, Dones’ patience has worn thin, “When are they going to be done?” Dones asked, “Does anybody even know?”

“ASAP,” said John Yonan, Superintendent of the Cook County Highway Department, “We want this done as soon as possible.”

But of course, different people have different ideas of when “ASAP” is.

Almost three weeks ago, Village Manager Reid Ottesen said,  “I don’t think they have more than two weeks of work left, they just need to get moving.”

Ottesen sent a letter to the county at the end of August to ask all the barricades to be removed and replaced with temporary markings to make Quentin Road easier and more convenient to navigate.

Superintendent of Cook County Highways, Yonan said that would have just cost the county more money. “Obviously we were not going to remove barricades because they would have to go right back up,” said Yonan.  

Ottesen sent the letter to the county after construction on the 2.1-mile stretch of Quentin Road came to a screeching halt. Crews were noticeably absent and no work was done on the Palatine project for about a month.

“Paving operations were held back but we were never behind,” Yonan said, “Nothing that we did as a county slowed or delayed construction.”

The contractor worked ahead of schedule, poured all of the concrete and then asked the county to use a different mix of asphalt from what was originally agreed upon in the county’s contract. Yonan said, “It veered from the agreed mix design so we had to approve it again.”

According to Yonan, the county did not have a problem with the new asphalt mix, using bits of recycled roof shingles, Yonan said the proposed mix design was “greener and cheaper” than the materials the contractor was supposed to use to resurface Quentin Road.  

Cook County agreed to go with the new asphalt mix but because the new mix cost less than the original asphalt design, the county asked for a credit. “We did play hard ball, I mean yea, those negotiations are part of it,” Yonan said the contractor and the county went back and fourth negotiating the amount of money to be credited to the county.

By the time the county and the contractor agreed on the asphalt design mix and pricing, Yonan said three or four weeks had passed.

“The county was not driving the bus on that,” Yonan said, “We had all that figured out in the contract but the contractor wanted to do something different.”

According to Yonan, if he would have known the project was going to be abandoned for as long as it was, the county would have taken down the barriers as Ottesen suggested.

“We’re always considerate of the public, so looking back, yea, we probably should have done something to make it easier,” Yonan said.

Lesson learned, Yonan said Cook County wants to finish up the project at quick as it can but now, crews are fighting a different battle. Yanon said, “This is temperature sensitive which may cancel incumbent runs, so this could be touch and go.” 

Because the contractor got ahead early on, the project is on budget and still on schedule. Yonan said weather permitting, Quentin Road could be complete as early as Oct. 21, but the county’s official deadline is not until Thanksgiving. 

Ron K September 26, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Bullshit. I believe the County was not paying it's payouts on time.
steveB September 26, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Just get it done. This is a repaving project, not a new road build. This project could have been completed early making everyone (residents, motorists, county, village and contractor) all happy.
Frank Reiss September 26, 2012 at 04:18 PM
The schedule set is ridiculously long, I travel around the Illinois and other States, and I’m always running in construction. They don’t take this long, as matter of fact I was driving to Waupaca Wis, on Monday morning and they stared a resurfacing on an eleven-mile stretch of RT. 22. It was done by the next Saturday morning when I drove back home. I don’t expect this kind of schedule, but better then seven months for 2.1 miles of resurfacing and new curbs. Something is seriously wrong here, schedules need to bet set for a reasonable amount of time, for this project two months. I know I use be a construction worker many years back. I know there is a contractor and subs but it is not difficult to schedule this project. I drive by Quentin and Palatine rd. almost every day and over 80% of the time I didn’t see any work being done. Is this project a filler job, when the contractor has time they work on it? Was this quoted as a filler job? Why is there such a long schedule? Is there some under the table negotiations? There should be an investigation on the facts of this project, Toni Preckwinkle should look into this she is a women that wants best for the people.
Kelly K September 26, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I've said it before, the level of incompetence displayed by everyone in charge of this project from the very start is just mind boggling!! If I was such a massive screw up in my job, I'd be fired! But these utter morons who have grossly inconvenienced an entire town full of people don't get into any kind of trouble at all! How is that even remotely fair? Fire them all! Shoot them or something, I really don't care at this point! But I'm fed up with the damage done to my car with having to drive over those ridiculous curbs and a the road grime that has messed up my car! Are you idiots in charge if this project listening!?! Cause you're all stupid and you should all be lined up and kicked in the teeth for your moronic stupidity!
ppirates September 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM
All I have to say is that is how the present government works. Also well said Kelly K
Sue Eirich September 26, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I am more concerned of the dangerous driving conditions on Quentin! It is a accident waiting to happen. I live off Quentin (the same corner that a pedestrian was killed last spring) The barricades keep getting moved and it is very confusing as what lane you are to turn in. Trying to turn into my subdivision is a nightmare, cars will try and go around you and are turning into the wrong lane of traffic. Is a tragic accident going to have to happen in order to get this job done.... COME ON ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!
Rachel Glaser September 26, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Thanks for commenting-- while I appreciate the enthusiasm, I have to ask everyone to watch their language when posting on here.
Rachel Glaser September 26, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Frank- According to the county, a lot of factors go into determining the schedule. The project had two weeks of down time scheduled to allow the concrete to dry and ahead of schedule, the contractor turned that into three weeks of down time while crews worked on other projects. The county said if the contractor is not behind schedule there is not much they can do... The county tries to push them along but at the end of the day, they have until the Thanksgiving deadline to complete the project.
Rachel Glaser September 26, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Sue- that is a great point-- I checked with the Palatine Police Department and they said they have not seen an increase of accidents in the construction zone on Quentin Road. But many residents I spoke with agree with you, it's an accident waiting to happen.
G September 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM
They did resurface a lot of local neighborhood roads during the main Quentin Road stoppage. Palatine had some sewer reduxes that were major projects and the same contractor had to totally resurface those roads right down to the dirt. So while Quentin was idle, the crews might have been working a block over on a big project inconveniencing hundreds of homeowners who couldn't use their driveways (but who got big brand new sewer pipes so that their basements wouldn't flood like they did in August 2011!)
Fred S. Thurston September 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
This is the 21st century, yet the entire process is so dated that you run into this kind of baloney where the good old boys keep doing things the same old archaic way. You need competent visionaries running these things instead of the old machine cranks! Fred Thurston


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