Objective: Better Traffic Flow More Roads Will Be Linked to Lake County's Traffic Management System

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Byline: Russell Lissau rlissau@dailyherald.com By Russell Lissau rlissau@dailyherald.com

More traffic lights are set to be linked through Lake County's traffic management system, officials revealed Wednesday.

Stretches of roads in 15 towns -- including Buffalo Grove, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich and Mundelein -- will become part of the [URL]Lake County PASSAGE;http://www.lakecountypassage.com/index.jsp[/URL] program, which uses cameras and other equipment to monitor traffic flow and to adjust red and green lights when needed to get cars moving.

Preliminary engineering work is expected to cost the county more than $1.1 million. Funding for the actual construction is expected to come from the federal government, said [URL]Marty Buehler;http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Transportation/About/Pages/MartinBu ehlerbio.aspx[/URL], the county's transportation director.

Through a nerve center in Libertyville, PASSAGE relays real-time information to motorists via the county's [URL]cable TV station;http://www.lakecountyil.gov/IWANTTO/WATCH/Pages/LCTVProgramLibr ary.aspx[/URL], [URL]1620-AM radio;http://www.lakecountypassage.com/about/har.html[/URL] and [URL]lakecountypassage.com;http://lakecountypassage.com/[/URL].

Since the PASSAGE system launched in 2005, the U.S. government has contributed $24 million for the effort, Buehler said. The local bill has been less than $9 million.

"Federal dollars have been huge for making Lake County PASSAGE work," Buehler told the county board's public works and transportation committee Wednesday morning in Waukegan.

Added committee member Bonnie Thomson Carter: "Some (federal) earmarks are good."

The committee said the board should hire two firms to handle the engineering work needed to add the roads to the PASSAGE system. …