Older news and events have been posted. Read about past happenings with the Chicago I-290 project below or you can also view current news now!
State Senator Lightford Hosts Eisenhower Town Hall Meeting
Illinois State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-4th) will provide a Public Forum for the Eisenhower Expressway at a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, April 22, 7:00 - 8:30 pm at Proviso Math and Science Academy in Forest Park.
IDOT has completed three rounds of alternatives evaluations and a set of Public Meetings that were held in October 2013, to present analyses completed to date, and the next steps in the planning process.
There is still time for the community to provide input on the alternatives, and Senator Lightford is providing an opportunity for the public to hear from experts about the project, as well as ask questions and look at the latest alternatives.
IDOT is considering additional evaluation measures, including travel benefits, environmental effects, and costs. The Round 3 alternatives will be carried into the Draft EIS and presented at a Public Hearing in late 2014 or early 2015. After the Public Hearing, a preferred alternative will be selected on the basis of technical studies and stakeholder input, and a Final EIS will be prepared to complete the planning process.
Senator Lightford will be joined by IDOT representatives, CTA staff, Citizens for Appropriate Transportation, unions and the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, to answer questions about the project.
Proviso Math and Science Academy is located at 8601 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park. If you have any questions about the event, you can call Senator Lightford's office at 708-343-7444.
Project Concepts Developed
During the spring of 2012, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) began presenting initial interchange concepts to community representatives within the I-290 study area. The goal of these meetings was to obtain early feedback on preliminary interchange concepts, which were also presented to the Corridor Advisory Group on June 11th. The content in the videos are conceptual and does not represent a final or detailed interchange design. The Corridor Advisory Group and Task Force consist of community and regional transit representatives, along with others who have technical expertise in transportation, engineering, land use and environmental topics. At this point in time, interchange concepts are not developed in detail; rather, IDOT is seeking input during early, conceptual stages. Moving forward, interchange concepts will undergo further refinement, technical evaluations, and incorporate stakeholder input.
IDOT has been seeking stakeholder input early and often throughout the I-290 study process to ensure that all stakeholders have the ability to provide feedback as concepts are developed and evaluated. In the evaluation of alternatives and interchange concepts, it is IDOT's objective to address safety, mobility, community and environmental concerns, as well as the condition/design of the road/bridges.
Currently, only funding for Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Studies (Phase I) is available. Phase I is anticipated to be completed in 2014.
Why are left side ramps a safety concern?
At the beginning of the I-290 planning process, we conducted a detailed review of crashes along the I-290 corridor. The two highest concentrations of crashes in the westbound direction occur in the sections of I-290 near Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue. The section of westbound I-290, from Laramie Avenue to Austin Boulevard, had the highest crash rate (537 crashes per mile) within the project limits, the next closest rate was on eastbound I-290 from Ashland Avenue to Racine Avenue, at 390 crashes per mile. 74% of the crashes that had an identified lane position in the police reports were in the inner two lanes at Austin, and 47% of the crashes that had an identified lane position in the police reports were in the inside lane at Harlem. This crash experience can be attributed to the inside lanes on an expressway typically serving higher speed, longer distance travel; the inside ramps introduce merging and speed changes. A national study sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in cooperation with the FHWA documents that left side entrances or exit ramps have up to 180% more crashes than right side entrance or exit ramps.
Study Area Extended
When the I-290 study began in the fall of 2009, the study area focused on the section of I-290 from Mannheim Road to Cicero Avenue. As the alternatives evaluation process advanced into round 2, there was a need to extend the study 4 miles eastward to Racine Avenue. This new study boundary matches the improvement limits of the round 2 alternatives, and matches the study limits of the ongoing Circle Interchange study. Data regarding existing safety, mobility and facility condition was collected and analyzed. In general, the transportation needs are relatively less severe in this 4 mile eastern section, compared to the western 9 miles.
CTA Announces Blue Line Vision Study in coordination with the I-290 Study
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has recently initiated the Blue Line Forest Park Branch Feasibility/Vision Study. The study is being undertaken to determine a long-term planning strategy for the Blue Line Forest Park Branch, with study limits including the entire Blue Line Forest Park Branch from Clinton station to Forest Park station, and potential expansion alternatives that would continue to Mannheim Road. The study area street boundaries extend from a block east of Clinton station at Canal Street on the east to Mannheim Road on the west, and between Madison Street on the north to Roosevelt Road on the south.
It in anticipated that the Forest Park Branch Feasibility/Vision Study will be prepared and completed in 2013. The work will be conducted in coordination with alternatives prepared for two ongoing IDOT studies, including the I-290 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Circle Interchange Rehabilitation Project. The CTA’s study will involve the assessment of transit and highway integrated enhancements, regional mobility issues, and the identification of funding sources and future collaboration opportunities. Concepts for all stations in the study area will include, but not be limited to, station access, redesign opportunities, and right-of-way (ROW) needs at specific stations along the corridor. The study will explore innovative solutions that preserve transit, but also integrate highway and transit operations to maximize mobility in this important regional corridor.
IDOT Presents Preliminary Interchange Concepts to Communities
During the spring, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) began presenting initial interchange concepts to community representatives within the I-290 study area. The goal of these meetings was to obtain early feedback on preliminary interchange concepts, which were also presented to the Corridor Advisory Group on June 11th. The Corridor Advisory Group and Task Force consists of community and regional transit representatives, along with others who have technical expertise in transportation, engineering, land use and environmental topics. At this point in time, interchange concepts are not developed in detail; rather, IDOT is seeking input during early, conceptual stages. More detailed studies will occur over the next several months as additional feedback is received and technical studies are completed.
IDOT has been seeking stakeholder input early and often throughout the I-290 study process to ensure that all stakeholders have the ability to provide feedback as concepts are developed and evaluated. In the evaluation of alternatives and interchange configurations, it is IDOT’s objective to address safety, mobility, community and environmental concerns, as well as the condition/design of the road/bridges.
Currently, only funding for Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Studies (Phase I) is available. Phase I is anticipated to be completed by the Spring of 2014.
Additional Stakeholder Input Sought for Purpose and Need
Upon obtaining public input on the first draft of the project Purpose and Need in the Spring of 2011, the Illinois Department of Transportation released a refined Purpose and Need document dated September 2011. The release of this document initiates a new review period allowing stakeholders an opportunity to provide additional comments on the document. The review and comment period is 30 days in length and all comments received during this time period will be incorporated into the public record for the I-290 Environmental Impact Statement.
A Purpose and Need is a concise statement of the transportation problems to be addressed. It contains a purpose sentence, reflecting the desired outcome of the project, and a description of the project needs. For the I-290 Study, the purpose of the project is to provide an improved transportation facility along the I-290 Eisenhower expressway multi-modal corridor. The five specific needs identified for the project include: improve regional and local travel, improve access to employment, improve safety for all users, improve modal connections and opportunities, and improve facility deficiencies.
The full purpose and need document started as a July 2010 outline that was further developed, discussed and detailed resulting in the Spring 2011 version of the purpose and need. The transportation problems or needs identified in the document were determined based on a combination of stakeholder input and detailed technical studies. The technical studies focused on an assessment of the existing transportation system to identify transportation needs that exist today, and those that are anticipated to exist in the future should no major improvements occur in the study area. Each transportation mode in the corridor was reviewed and documented as well, including the highway and arterials, commuter rail (Metra), CTA heavy rail transit, CTA and PACE bus service, and freight rail systems and facilities. The results of these studies, combined with stakeholder input, influenced the development of the Purpose and Need. Each of these need points is broken down into more detail as follows:
Please click here to view the September 2011 draft of the refined Purpose and Need. Additional comments on the refined Purpose and Need are due by midnight on November 30, 2011.
Over 200 Stakeholders Attend Second Public Meeting
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) held the second public meeting for the Eisenhower Study on May 18, 2011 at the Proviso Math and Science Academy in Forest Park, Illinois. The meeting was an open house format, and featured a continuous PowerPoint presentation and exhibit boards. The purpose of this public meeting was to obtain public input on the Purpose and Need and initial project alternatives. Stakeholder input will continue to be considered as the planning process moves forward.
IDOT has been gathering public input and presenting technical analysis through a series of nine Corridor Advisory Group (CAG)/Task Force (TF) meetings involving elected officials, community representatives, agencies and other interested stakeholders. Thus far, IDOT and stakeholders have identified the existing and future transportation needs and deficiencies in the study area for all modes of travel, including rail, bus, auto and bike/pedestrians. The results of the need analysis, in combination with stakeholder input, lead to the development of the project Purpose and Need. The following five need points summarize the project Purpose and Need: improve regional and local travel, improve access to employment, improve safety for all users, improve modal connections and opportunities, and improve facility deficiencies. By identifying the transportation problems to be addressed, the project Purpose and Need serves as a basis for evaluation of proposed project alternatives as the study progresses.
In addition to the Purpose and Need, an initial list of potential solutions was on display at the public meeting. Approximately 170 alternatives have been submitted by stakeholders over the course of the study including at Public Meeting #1 and the CAG/TF alternatives workshop. The alternatives were divided by mode for easier viewing and included: Heavy Rail Transit (HRT); Bus Rapid Transit (BRT); Commuter Rail; Automated Guideway Transit (AGT); Local and Express Bus; Expressway Improvements; Managed Lanes (HOV and Tolling); Arterial Improvements; Traffic Management; Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements; and, other alternatives. Stakeholders were encouraged to comment on the displayed alternatives or suggest additional alternatives or enhancements for consideration.
An Environmental Inventory Map of the study area was also available for viewing and comment. The purpose of this map was to assist IDOT in the identification of environmental features within the study area that must be considered during the evaluation of alternatives and for identification of potential impacts. Impacts to the identified environmental features will be avoided wherever possible.
Approximately 150 comment forms, suggested transportation alternatives, and website comments were submitted. Stakeholders comments included: the importance of addressing regional transportation; the desire to consider multi-modal alternatives to improve both vehicular and transit travel; improving highway access and safety; expanding transit options; improving bicycle and pedestrian access and circulation in the study area; and, positive feedback regarding the study process. Stakeholder input will also influence the development and evaluation of potential alternatives in the next steps.
Stakeholders are encouraged to continue to get involved in the Eisenhower Expressway Study by regularly visiting the project website, attending public meetings, and providing comments and feedback.
IDOT Seeks Input on Draft Purpose and Need and Project Alternatives at Public Meeting
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) initiated the I-290 Eisenhower Expressway planning process in the Fall of 2009, and is now hosting its second Open House Public Meeting for the project. IDOT has been gathering public input and presenting technical analysis through a series of nine Corridor Advisory Group meetings involving elected officials, community representatives, agencies, and other interested stakeholders. Thus far, IDOT and stakeholders have identified the transportation needs in the study area for all modes of travel including rail, bus, auto, and bike/pedestrian. This extensive analysis and coordination effort is summarized by the following need statements: improve regional and local travel, improve access to employment, improve safety for all users, improve modal connections and opportunities, and improve facility deficiencies. These needs will provide a basis for evaluation of proposed alternatives as the study progresses. In addition, an initial list of potential solutions has been submitted by stakeholders. IDOT is seeking further stakeholder input on the identified needs as well as the initial list of alternatives, and will consider this input as the planning process moves forward.
The Open House Public Meeting Will Be Held:
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 4:00 – 8:00 pm
Proviso Math and Science Academy
8601 Roosevelt Road
Forest Park, Illinois 60130
The I-290 Open House Public Meeting will be accessible by transit. Pace bus routes 301 and 308 depart from the CTA Forest Park Blue Line station and stop at the Roosevelt Road/1st Avenue stop. Other suggested transit routes can be found at www.pacebus.com or www.transitchicago.com.
I-290 RESURFACING PROJECT- SEPARATE FROM THIS I-290 PLANNING STUDY
The Resurfacing Project that began at Illinois Route 53 on the west to the Circle Interchange on the east was completed in Fall 2010. This project included resurfacing and bridge repairs along a 27 miles stretch of I-290.
To learn more about the I-290 Resurfacing Project or to ask questions, please visit www.dot.state.il.us/I290/index.html
IDOT Seeks Input on Transportation Issues at Public Meeting
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has initiated a Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Study (Phase I). This study is taking an in-depth look at current and future transportation needs along the I-290 corridor through an extensive public involvement process. The study extends from west of Mannheim Road (US 12/20/45) to east of Cicero Avenue (IL Route 50).
A public meeting was held Wednesday, November 18, 2009 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Best Western Chicago Hillside, 4400 North Frontage Road, Hillside, IL 60162. View a presentation from the November 18, public meeting.
Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP) is Developed
The purpose of the SIP is to provide a guide for implementing stakeholder involvement for the I-290. The SIP will be used as a blueprint for defining methods and tools to educate and engage all stakeholders in the decision-making process for this project. The SIP has been designed to ensure that stakeholders are provided a number of opportunities to be informed and engaged as the project progresses.
The goal of the SIP is to actively seek the participation of communities, agencies, individual interest groups, and the general public throughout the project development process. The SIP provides the framework for achieving consensus and communicating the decision-making process between the general public, public agencies, and governmental officials to identify transportation solutions for the project.
Corridor Advisory Group and Task Forces will Influence Decisions
Interaction with potentially affected communities is important for ensuring that IDOT proposals are consistent with community goals and objectives. To provide a forum for discussions of details about the goals, objectives, potential improvements, and design of I-290, IDOT is forming a Corridor Advisory Group (CAG) and Task Forces (TF). The CAG will consist of elected officials from two counties and eight municipalities. These include Cook and DuPage Counties, and the municipalities of Bellwood, Broadview, Chicago, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Oak Park, and Westchester.
Corridor Advisory Group
To assist in the development of the environmental and engineering studies for the I-290 study, IDOT is forming a Corridor Advisory Group (CAG). The purpose of the CAG is to provide input on various study elements including defining needs and alternative development and evaluation criteria. The CAG consists of community leaders from each of the eight communities in the study area and representatives from Cook and DuPage Counties The responsibilities of this group include providing input to the study process, and reaching a consensus at key project milestones, e.g. project Purpose and Need, range of alternatives to be advanced for detailed study, and the recommended alternative(s).
A Task Force (TF) group provides a means for obtaining technical support to the CAG from a diverse set of stakeholders. The two TF categories (Transportation/Engineering and Land Use/Environmental) intend to focus on technical aspects of the project development, and provide external information and input with respect to transportation, engineering, land use and environmental topics.
Task Force Groups will be formed as needed, and be comprised of stakeholders with expertise in these categories. The TF members may include CAG members or designated staff, or representatives from other governmental bodies, transportation agencies, or interest groups. The TF's will meet throughout the project development process and their input will be shared with the CAG.
The TF's will focus on understanding and resolving more specific technical issues as they arise and report back to the Project Study Group (PSG). The TF's may be asked to address the CAG to help communicate technical subject matter issues.
To keep staffing requirements manageable, TF's would be organized and focused on a particular topic to limit the number of study specialists needed to attend. The meeting program will be designed to encourage timely and meaningful opportunities for input into the project process. To assure proper balance with safety, mobility, and cost, IDOT and FHWA will ultimately determine the direction.
IDOT Takes a Fresh Look
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is re-initiating the Eisenhower Expressway Phase I Planning and Environmental Study. This study will take a fresh look at transportation needs through an extensive public involvement process.
The study is located along I-290 in Cook County extending approximately seven miles from Mannheim Road (US Route 12/20/45) to Cicero Avenue (IL Route 50) and traverses eight communities: Bellwood, Broadview, Chicago, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Oak Park and Westchester.
Stakeholder involvement is critical to the project success. A Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP) has been developed and outlines many opportunities for the public to provide input. IDOT understands that other independent studies within the study area have shared interests with the I-290 project. IDOT will continue to reach out and coordinate with these stakeholders groups throughout the study process. Currently, funding for this Phase I (Planning and Environmental Studies) is available. However, no funding is currently programmed for final design, and land acquisition (Phase II), or construction (Phase III).