What Have We Completed?
The first Tier of the project is complete. This part of the project included the development of the Purpose and Need, which involves stakeholder input and technical analysis findings. In the first few CPG/TTF meetings, issues/concerns were identified and goals/objectives were determined for the project. Technical information was then gathered from community context audits, as well as from planning organizations, such as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), and the Kankakee Area Transportation Study (KATS). Stakeholder input and technical analysis determined the project’s purpose and need, which was the basis for developing alternatives. The framework for the Purpose and Need was as follows:
- Improve regional mobility,
- Alleviate local system congestion and improve local system mobility,
- Provide for efficient movement of freight.
Following the development of the Purpose and Need, the study team developed alternative corridors. The alternative corridor development process began with stakeholders identifying alternatives based on the Purpose and Need framework. Submitted alternative corridors that did not meet the Purpose and Need or that had fatal flaws were screened out. From there, alternative corridors were evaluated based on transportation performance and environmental resource evaluation and were further refined, especially those with high impacts.
While continuing to work with Stakeholders, the finalist alternative corridor(s) were refined, and those alternative corridors (including a no-action) were presented to the public for review and comment. The preferred corridor was selected based on three criteria, including transportation performance evaluation, financial sustainability, and environmental resource evaluation. Throughout the study process, stakeholder input was vital to determining the best alternative for the study area.
The preferred corridor, known as B3, and the No-Action alternative were identified in the Final EIS and described as part of the Record of Decision (ROD), issued. January 10, 2013
Tier 1 Study Timeline