Case study | Environmental Science
10-1043 PTB 154.06 Illinois Route 83 and Illinois Route 137
Illinois Department of Transportation
$234,076 (KEG Fee)
Completed 2021 (KEG Services)
Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC (KEG) provided environmental services to support Volkert, Inc. with potential improvements to approximately 11 miles of IL 83 (Milwaukee Avenue/Barron Boulevard) and IL 137 (Buckley Road) in the communities of Lake Villa, Round Lake Beach, Grayslake and Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois for District 1 (D1) of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The existing lane configuration in the study area varies from two through lanes with various turn lanes to five lanes. As part of IDOT’s Phase I Project Phase, KEG’s scope of work included assisting Volkert in drafting the Environmental Assessment (EA) and associated analyses, as well as the associated public involvement efforts
Using Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), the project’3s public involvement process began with the initiation of the project in 2011 by forming a Community Advisory Group (CAG) to discuss and review key milestones throughout Phase I of the project. The first key milestone was identifying and presenting the purpose, need, and goals/objectives to the CAG. The project’s purpose was to improve safety, improve mobility, and improve multimodal opportunities along the project corridor. The project need was due to the corridor’s number of crashes and related traffic capacity. The next milestone was presenting the range of alternatives considered for the project, which included the no-build, congestion management process (CMP), two-lane, and four-lane alternatives. A preferred alternative was then selected and agreed upon by the CAG which included a hybrid of the alternatives. Due to the size of the corridor and its varying land use, the project was divided into three sections and alternatives were developed for each. The north section (IL 132 to Washington St) included four lanes with a raised curb median, flush center turn lane, or narrow raised median; the central section (Washington St. to IL 120) included a barrier median, flush center turn lane, or narrow barrier median and roundabouts; and the south section (IL 120 to the east of US 45) included four lanes with a depressed reduced width grass median with a multi-use path. Overall, the project team met with the CAG four times throughout the duration of the project. The project team also conducted two public meetings and concluded with a virtual public outreach meeting at the conclusion of the project.
Throughout the duration of the project and in support of the completion of the EA, KEG’s tasks included ensuring the environmental factors were weighted equally when compared to other factors in the decision-making process. Specifically, as part of this process, KEG led the effort to draft the Environmental Inventory Map (EIM), calculate the environmental resource impacts, and complete the Section 4(f) impact documentation process. The project’s environmental impacts focused on wetlands and water resources, land acquisition, and residential and business relocations. No impacts on cultural, historic, or threatened and endangered species were anticipated. KEG already successfully coordinated the Section 4(f) impacts with the Grayslake Community Park District and will be finalized with the public hearing for the EA at a future date.
In 2021, at the completion of the IDOT project contract timing restrictions (10 years), the project team was able to provide IDOT a complete draft of the EA, with an approved preferred alternative by the CAG, to carry the project forward for approval by FHWA. To date, the EA is currently under review by FHWA and awaiting a public hearing date to solicit public input; however, the Covid pandemic has halted IDOT public involvement in in-person efforts and will be completed when safe/appropriate.
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