The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT or the Department) is currently engaged in preliminary engineering and environmental studies (Phase I) for the improvement of Interstate 80 (I-80) from Ridge Road to US 30. Two studies are being performed which include the long-term study and near-term study of I-80. An explanation of each study along with their status is provided below.
The long-term preliminary engineering and environmental study of I-80 evaluates the existing as well as future needs of the corridor. The long-term study needs were identified as: improvement of regional and local travel and access, improvement of facility condition and design, and improvement of safety for all users. We are currently in the alternatives development and evaluation stage of the study. Alternatives being studied include: providing an auxiliary lane between some interchange ramps, potential bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, and interchange improvements, as well as realignment and reconstruction of the Des Plaines River Bridge.
A Project Working Group (PWG) meeting was conducted on September 19, 2013 to present the range of alternatives to project stakeholders and seek their input. A public meeting is targeted for fall 2017 to present the range of alternatives and seek input from the public. Once we present the range of alternatives to the public, the alternatives will be further evaluated and screened until a preferred alternative is reached. The preferred alternative will be presented at a public hearing which is anticipated to occur in mid-2018. Design Approval for this project is anticipated for late 2018 which will complete the Phase I process.
Given it may take many years to completely reconstruct I-80, a near-term preliminary engineering and environmental (Phase I) study has been prepared. This study identified potential near-term pavement, structural, and safety needs in addition to operational improvements which would extend the useful life of the Interstate and improve safety. Proposed improvements include structure rehabilitation and/or replacement, pavement reconstruction, and safety improvements. Portions of these near-term improvements are funded for construction in the Department’s Multi-Year Highway Improvement Program.