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October 18, 2012
For Immediate Release

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Illiana Preferred Corridor Report Released

The Preferred Corridor Report describing the rationale for selecting Corridor B3 as the preferred build corridor, and the No-Action alternative to advance to Tier Two studies has been released.  Corridors A3S2, B3 and B4 were identified to be carried forward for detailed evaluation in the Tier One Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (along with the No-Action alternative) based on meeting the project Purpose and Need, public input, and providing travel benefits with minimization of socioeconomic and environmental impacts.

After consideration of the technical analysis in the Tier One DEIS and considering the comments received during the comment period on the DEIS, Corridor B3 is the recommended preferred corridor.

Selection of Corridor B3 as the preferred corridor is based on the following primary factors:

Corridor B3 in comparison with Corridor A3S2: Corridor B3 has lower overall impacts to the natural and built environment, more stakeholder support, better constructability, and lower cost than Corridor A3S2. Both corridors perform similarly in meeting the Purpose and Need; with Corridor B3 attracting slightly more traffic overall and offering comparable travel performance for a tolled scenario. Since Corridor B3 has similar overall travel performance and compares favorably to Corridor A3S2 for the other factors noted above, Corridor B3 is the preferred corridor.

Corridor B3 in comparison with Corridor B4: Corridor B3 performs better than Corridor B4 for every travel performance measure in both the tolled and non-tolled scenarios. In addition, there are constructability issues for Corridor B4 within the Kankakee River floodplain that are not present with Corridor B3. While Corridor B3 has higher wetland impacts than B4, Corridor B3 has lower overall stream impacts and impaired stream impacts, and lower impacts to floodplains and water well protection zones. There is little public support for Corridor B4 as compared to Corridor B3. Since Corridor B3 exhibits better travel performance and is comparable to B4 with respect to overall water resource impacts, Corridor B3 is the preferred corridor.

A more detailed discussion of the factors supporting the selection of Corridor B3 as the preferred corridor is presented in the Preferred Corridor Report.

The Preferred Corridor Report presents the study teams recommendation for concurrence by the Federal and State environmental resource agencies.  Conclusions will be presented in the Final EIS, which is expected in Late 2012/Early 2013.

Click here to view the Preferred Corridor Report