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Editor's Notes:

Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc.


Future Conflicts or Current Opportunity?

North Central Lake County is mostly undeveloped and is beginning to experience the large scale development that has occurred in the east and south sectors of the County.

Increased Traffic Affects The Future Of The Historic Village of Millburn, Unincorporated Lake County, Illinois

According to IDOT U. S. Route 45 from Highway 176 to Highway 132 is expected to be completed as a 4 to 5 lane Highway by 1996, the estimated traffic being 40,000 cars per day. Of these 40,000 trips, an estimated 10,000 would be continuing northward on Highway 45 through the Historic Village of Millburn. This traffic projection by IDOT does not take into consideration the rapid development of this area, the less expensive cost of housing constructed over the state line in Wisconsin or the impact of the Gurnee Mills Shopping Mall located on Highway 132 east of Highway 45.

At the present time Highway 45 is two lanes through the Historic Village of Millburn. Grass Lake Road enters Highway 45 from the west and Millburn Road enters from the east a short distance to the south of that point

Traffic patterns need to be examined in order to preserve and protect Lake County's Historic 1900's Village of Millburn which has 18 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. One of these buildings is listed on the Illinois Register of Historic Landmarks.

  1. If traffic patterns dictate that Highway 45 should be widened. how would this affect the Village of Millburn?
    1. Space is not available through the Village. At the present time only eight feet of space exists from the road to some of the structures.
    2. A wider highway and heavier traffic would destroy the Village as a cohesive Historic Community.
    3. The increased number of trucks and cars on Highway 45 would create an even greater threat to the safety of school buses, local and area drivers.
    4. The safety of pedestrians going to church. school or homes would be threatened.
  2. Possible Alternatives
    1. Tear down homes and widen Highway 45.
      1. Pros
        1. Traffic would move safer and faster.
      2. Cons
        1. The Village of Millburn would be demolished and a unique portion of Lake County's history would be destroyed.
    2. Move homes in order to widen the highway.
      1. Pros
        1. Traffic would move safer and faster.
        2. This would save the unique Historic Homes in the Village of Millburn.
      2. Cons
        1. Authenticity of the Historic Village of Millburn would be lost.
        2. National Register of the Historic Landmark District would be lost.
        3. Suitable country site would need to be located.
        4. Costs would be substantial
        5. Of the 18 Landmark structures, two were built in 1856 and one in 1867 of double wall brick construction, making moving difficult.
    3. Designate a location for a new Highway 45 to by-pass the Historic Village of Millburn ensuring that the highway will not divide the Historic District.
      1. Locating the Highway to the East of Village of Millburn
        1. Pros
          1. Undeveloped land is available.
        2. Con
          1. This would not solve problems of traffic and safety at the hazardous junctions of Grass Lake Road and Millburn Road into Highway 45.
          2. Other structural and environmental features which would impede construction include District #24 Community Consolidated Grade School, Millburn Cemetery, large north/south gas pipeline, and the creek known as Old Mill Creek.
      2. Locating the Highway to the West of the Village of Millburn
        1. Pros
          1. This would protect and preserve the Historic Village of Millburn.
          2. This would eliminate hazardous Highway 45, Grass Lake Road and Millburn Road junctions.
          3. This would remove a dangerous Highway 45 curve north of the Historic Village of Millburn.
          4. Undeveloped land is available.
        2. Cons
          1. Farm land on west side of Highway 45 has been annexed into the Village of Lindenhurst for development. Although no improvements have been started.
          2. Some homes lying in the path of a new highway would be affected.
          3. A small portion of Lake County Forest Preserve land would need to be crossed by a new highway.

Conclusion: Any change will affect someone. The time to make a change is when the results will affect the least number of people. That time is NOW!

The Historic Millburn Community Association, Inc. has been given the charge of enhancing, protecting and preserving this Historic Village of Millburn. The Association sincerely believes that in the years to come this historic area should be maintained as a place for people to visit and gain understanding of a way of life that does not exist in many other places.

We ask your help and assistance in this project to find a way to save from traffic destruction this Historic Village which is a part of Lake County and Illinois history.

Historic Millburn Community Association Selectmen:
/s/ Ann Bonner
/s/ Dorothy Fettinger
/s/ Margaret Lahey
/s/ William Revenaugh
/s/ Robert Brooks
/s/ Reva Konefes
/s/ Sandy O'Donnell
/s/ Ruth White

Date 6/9/91