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).
Posted in: Study Process and Schedule