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October 14, 2011
For Immediate Release

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First Round of Public Meetings Held

The Illinois and Indiana Departments of Transportation (IDOT and INDOT) held the first round of public meetings for the Illiana Corridor Study on June 21, 2011 in Illinois, and June 22, 2011 in Indiana.  IDOT and INDOT officials scheduled the two public meetings to present the study schedule, planning process, and identify stakeholder involvement opportunities.  The meetings were an open house format, and featured a continuous PowerPoint presentation, two question and answer forums, exhibit boards and large scale maps of the study area to which attendees provided comments and suggestions on post it notes.  The purpose of these meetings was to seek input from stakeholders on the transportation issues, concerns, and needs for the Illiana study area.

The meetings were designed to create an interactive environment for the public officials, media representatives and stakeholders throughout the region that were in attendance.  The June 21, 2011 meeting in Illinois was held at the Matteson Hotel and Conference Center in Matteson, and was attended by 71 people.  The June 22, 2011 meeting in Indiana was held at Crown Point High School, in Crown Point, and was attended by 140 people.  Many stakeholders spoke directly to project study team members around project exhibits and study area maps. 

Positive feedback regarding the meeting format, understandable materials and early stakeholder involvement efforts was expressed during the public meetings.  Though concerns were raised regarding the potential future location and design of the Illiana corridor, an overall enthusiasm for economic development opportunities was apparent. Stakeholders identified opportunities the Illiana Corridor presents for innovation and pursuing multimodal concepts.  Comments supported by multiple stakeholders included: consideration for prime agricultural land and natural resources; the incorporation of trails and other modes of transportation; maintaining sensitivity to nearby communities; streamlining and accelerating the study process; and mitigating environmental impacts.  Several comments identified support for the study and its important role in addressing regional east-west transportation issues as well.     

Stakeholder input will be combined with technical studies to shape the Purpose and Need for the project. Stakeholders are encouraged to continue to get involved in the Illiana Corridor Study by visiting the project website, attending public meetings, and providing comments and feedback regularly.