The agency responsible for maintaining the ESH has not yet been determined. That will be determined later in the project process.
At present, Phase II (Detailed Engineering) and Phase III (Construction Phase) are not yet funded. One of the reasons for performing the Phase I (Environmental Assessment) is to determine if the project should go forward. As such, construction funding is often not available for projects until the Phase I study has been approved by the FHWA. The source of funding for construction has not been determined. Construction funding can come from a variety of sources. There are many Federal programs which fund construction projects, some State funds are available, and some funding may come from the County or City.
The EA will conclude the planning for the ESH. Land use and transportation planning will continue as adopted plans will be reviewed and further refined to help ensure that a comprehensive development strategy is maintained in meeting future mobility, congestion, and safety needs.
At the conclusion of the ESH EA Study, the location of the preferred alternative for the ESH will be identified. East-west routes, bicycle, transit, or other transportation improvements may also be recommended as part of the ESH EA. Upon a Finding of No Significant Impact from the EA, the final design and land acquisition can commence. Funding is currently not established for the final design or construction phases.
The ESH EA Study began in the summer of 2010. The schedule anticipates a final alternative being approved in 2014.
As part of the alternative development, all modes will be considered, including access across a proposed ESH. Existing and planned bicycle accommodations have been inventoried and will be considered as part of the EA. A Focus Working Group (FWG) composed of local citizens has been created to address how alternate modes of transportation can be maximized through the development of an ESH.
Based upon public input received during the Corridor Study, the project team is evaluating east/west improvements in conjunction with the development of an East Side Highway. As a result, the study limits were extended to include the east/west routes leading into Bloomington-Normal.
Yes, much of the work done in the Corridor Study will be used during the EA. The Problem Statement and Purpose and Need Statement developed with stakeholder input during the Corridor Study will provide the starting point for the EA. Corridors developed during the Corridor Study that meet the Purpose and Need will be re-examined during the EA, and some will be studied in greater detail. New corridors may also be identified as potential alternatives for consideration. Comments and input received from the public during the Corridor Study will be considered and incorporated into the EA.
The Feasibility Study, the Corridor Study, and the Environmental Assessment (EA) are different types of studies with different objectives. The objective of the 2002 Feasibility Study was to determine if an east side transportation facility to address existing and future transportation conditions was practical and feasible. The objective of the 2007 Corridor Study was to identify a 500 foot wide corridor location for a proposed roadway. The Corridor Study evaluated a range of corridors and identified the location of a recommended corridor. This phase of the study provided a defined corridor that the affected local agencies could use for planning purposes until funding was secured for a complete EA. Much of the Corridor Study work was developed with the understanding that it would be used in the EA. The Corridor Study identified numerous areas where additional detailed studies are needed; these detailed studies will be completed during the EA. The EA will evaluate a wide range of alignments and alternatives to determine their impacts on the human and natural environment. The report will identify measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate for any adverse impacts. The objective of the EA is to identify a preferred alternative that meets the purpose and need and minimizes environmental impacts. The EA is not a refinement of the Corridor Study’s recommended alternative. The EA will assess a full range of transportation improvement alternatives. The corridors previously studied will be examined for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Other new alternatives may be identified during the EA process. At the conclusion of the EA the preferred alternative will have been approved by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Currently, the project is not funded for construction.