Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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For Immediate Release
July 31, 2002
CONTACT: 217/782/6953
TTY: 217/524-4875


PRAIRIE PARKWAY CORRIDOR PROTECTION MAP APPROVED

FOR NEW REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION FACILITY

YORKVILLE, IL -- Illinois Secretary of Transportation Kirk Brown announced today the approval of a modified central corridor through Grundy, Kendall and Kane counties for a future transportation facility to serve regional traffic providing a link between Interstate 80 and Interstate 88.

"Corridor protection is being used as an early step to preserve a passageway for a future highway while avoiding costly and conflicting development of the involved land," Brown said. "Let me emphasize, a corridor protection study does not replace the in-depth analysis that is conducted in a Phase I engineering study.

"Because it takes from 10 to 12 years before construction, it is critical to protect a corridor now. By protecting a corridor, local governments can plan for future development since they control zoning," Brown said.

The Department of Transportation initiated a corridor feasibility study in March of 1999 and narrowed the possible locations to three broad corridors. From the three corridors, the Department proposed a central corridor that generally ran west of Illinois 47.

As the result of the public hearing and the nearly 1,500 comments, the Department reevaluated the eastern corridor, investigated the corridor proposed by Kane County, and adopted some of the suggested modifications to the central corridor.

The major modifications adopted as the result of public comment were a reduction in the severance of agricultural properties. The corridor was adjusted to be next to section lines and the ComEd power line corridor where possible. In addition, segments of the corridor that originally ran diagonally across parcels were adjusted to minimize bisecting properties.

As a result of public comment and modifications, the central corridor was selected because of the following:

  • Least impact on existing homes, businesses and platted subdivisions;

  • Places the corridor close to the populated areas without significant disruption;

  • Good potential function as a beltway to the metropolitan area with excellent connections to Interstate 80 and Interstate 88.

The Department will immediately file the corridor protection map in the office of the recorder for Grundy, Kendall and Kane counties. Once the corridor is filed, registered letters will be sent to all affected property owners. Copies of the approved corridor protection map and the record of hearing will be available soon at the public libraries in the communities of Morris, Yorkville, and Sugar Grove. The information will also be available on the Department’s website at www.dot.il.gov under "Project Information" and at the Department of Transportation District 3 Office located at 700 East Norris Drive in Ottawa.

As soon as the corridor protection map is filed, an application will be forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration for a $15 million grant to begin the Phase I engineering study. Those funds have already been appropriated for the Prairie Parkway project. The state will provide a $3.75 million match for a total of $18.75 million for the Phase I study.

The Phase I study will outline the purpose and need for a transportation improvement, and will provide an alternative analysis of both engineering and environmental issues, such as archeological, historical, and biological impacts. The study also looks at social and agricultural impacts. The Phase I study is expected to take three to five years.

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