This page provides regular updates on the progress of the
I-90 Improvements Study. Check back often to see the latest
on what’s happening with the study! All materials, schedules
and other study resources are available for download on the
Study Documents and Links Page.
I-90 Improvements Study is in Phase I of the IDOT process
(Planning), with a Public Hearing anticipated in late fall
of 2013 and design approval anticipated by the end of 2013.
Phase I is often referred to as the Preliminary
Engineering and Environmental Study Phase. Phase I involves
the analysis of existing and future conditions, defining the
Purpose and Need for an improvement, and developing and
analyzing improvement alternatives. The culmination of the
Phase I Study concludes with the selection of the preferred
Phase II is the design and land acquisition stage in the
project process. After a preferred alternative is approved
in Phase I, construction contract documents are prepared and
required right of way is acquired. Phase II typically takes
2 years to complete.
Phase III is the construction phase for the improvement.
Phase I Engineering is currently underway for the
improvements of Interstate 90 from Interstate 190 to
Illinois Route 43. Funding for Phase I and Contract Plan
Preparation (Phase II) is currently included in the
Department’s FY 2013-2018 Proposed Multi-Modal
Transportation Improvement Program. Beyond Phase II, this
project will be included in our priorities for future
funding consideration among similar improvement needs
throughout the region.
What is the Phase I project process?
STEP 1: Analyze Existing Conditions – The study team
will evaluate existing conditions in the corridor to
identify deficiencies and problems. Meetings will be held
with representatives of the communities in the study area to
gather information on their issues and concerns within the
project corridor. IDOT will also hold a Public Meeting on
March 26, 2013 to present the identified issues, concerns
and transportation needs to project stakeholders as well as
solicit feedback about the project.
STEP 2: Develop Purpose and Need Statement – Using
the information obtained in Step 1, IDOT will develop a
Problem Statement and a Purpose and Need Statement. The
Problem Statement summarizes the identified issues and
concerns for the project. It will guide the development of
the Purpose and Need for the project, which is an
explanation of why the
project is needed. IDOT will hold a meeting with the Project
Working Group (PWG), which will be comprised of mayors or
other representatives of the communities, to aid in
developing the Problem Statement and the Purpose and Need.
STEP 3: Develop and Analyze Potential Improvements
– The third step in the study process involves the
identification of possible improvements and development of
the criteria to evaluate those improvements. IDOT
anticipates holding the second meeting with the PWG during
this step. Preliminary engineering design will also occur
during this step. A recommended set of improvements will be
identified using the evaluation criteria, as well as
feedback from the PWG.
STEP 4: Evaluate Potential Impacts and Benefits –
Once the recommended improvements have been identified, the
potential impacts and benefits will be evaluated. The
findings of this analysis will be presented and discussed
with the PWG during the final meeting with the group,
documented in the Phase I engineering report, and presented
for review and comment at the Public Hearing. This report
will also include the environmental analysis required by
state and federal laws. IDOT will consider the findings of
the technical analyses, as well as all public and
stakeholder input collected throughout the Phase I study, as
it makes the final decision on the project. IDOT anticipates
holding the public hearing in late summer or early fall of
Where Are We in the Process?
The study of the improvements along I-90 from I-190 to IL 43
is currently transitioning between Steps 2 & 3. The project
team has developed a Purpose and Need statement and
conducted analyses of existing and future conditions. An
initial range of alternatives are being developed from the
input gathered from the public, agencies, and the project
team. After a series of analyses, including a fatal flaw
screening, a purpose and need screening, and an impact
evaluation, a preliminary preferred alternative will be
The one public meeting and one Project Working Group meeting
that have been held thus far are described below.
Public Hearing A Public Hearing will be held in
late Fall 2013.
Public Meeting (March 26, 2013) The first Public
Meeting was held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, from 4:00 to
7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn O’Hare in Chicago. It was an
open-house format meeting with a continuously-running
PowerPoint presentation and exhibit boards on display.
Thirty stakeholders attended the meeting including a
reporter from the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate, 41st Ward
Alderman Mary O’Connor and her Chief of Staff Lisa Ryan,
55th District State Representative Marty Moylan, Legislative
Aide Emily Perish, PACE representative Charlotte O’Donnell,
and Village of Norridge Engineer Brian Gaseor. Seven written
comments were received at the meeting and a few additional
comments were submitted during the two-week open comment
period following the meeting. Most of the comments concerned
noise impacts, reflecting the familiarity of the noise
process and mitigation measures as related to airport noise
because the residents in the I-90 project area are also in
an O’Hare Airport runway flight path. Other comments
expressed at the meeting included support for the project
and the Cumberland Flyover concept and requests to be
involved in the working group process. Stakeholders also
expressed concern over retaining wall and noise wall
construction impacts to frontage roads and noise and
disruption during construction. Concerns were also raised
about the WB Harlem Avenue ramp meter backing traffic into
the nearby intersection. With this ramp becoming the
auxiliary lane, this should not be a future concern and the
ramp meter could be removed. The Park Ridge Herald-Advocate
and NBC5 television station ran stories after the meeting.
The presentation and handouts given at this meeting are
available on the Study Documents page.
Project Working Group (PWG) Meetings
PWG Meeting #1 The first PWG meeting was held to review and
obtain comments on the presentation and displays for Public
Meeting #1 on April 29, 2013 at the Roden Library in
Chicago. The ten stakeholders that attended the meeting were
the 41st Ward Alderman and Chief of Staff, Village of
Norridge Engineer, Representatives of CDOT, CTA, Pace,
Illinois Tollway, and three residents. The purpose of PWG #1
was to discuss the study process, initial findings, the role
of the PWG, and to perform a workshop to brainstorm the more
subtle transportation problems at the I-90 from I-190 to IL
43. The results from the Problem Statement Workshop and
other materials from this meeting can be found on the
PWG Meeting #2 The second PWG
meeting was held at the Roden Library on September 6, 2013.
The seven stakeholders that attended the meeting were the
Chief of Staff of the 41st Ward Alderman, Village of
Norridge Engineer, Representatives of CDOT, Pace, Chicago
Fire Department, and two residents. The purpose of the
meeting was to review the previously defined deficiencies,
present the potential improvements for the project and
gather stakeholder input and feedback. A summary of the
meeting along with other related documents from this meeting
can be found on the Study Documents page.