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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: 217/782-6953
December 20, 2002 TTY: 217/524-4875

PRAIRIE PARKWAY PHASE I STUDY BEGINS;
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT ENCOURAGED

OTTAWA, IL -- The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced that a Prairie Parkway study that will evaluate the need for future transportation improvements in northeastern Illinois will begin immediately.

The Phase I preliminary engineering study will take an in-depth look at current and future transportation needs in an area that is experiencing increased development and traffic congestion. The general study area includes Kane, Kendall, Grundy, DeKalb, Will and LaSalle counties.

IDOT has scheduled two public open houses on January 22 and 23, 2003 where the public can learn more about the Phase I study. The open houses will be held at:

January 22, 2003
5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Kaneland South Elem. School
85 South Main Street
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
January 23, 2003
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
School The Fountains of Minooka
502 Twin Rail Drive
Minooka, IL 60447

The public is invited and encouraged to attend at any time during the open houses, There will be no formal presentation at the open houses, but the public will be able to watch a PowerPoint presentation, review exhibits, and discuss the study with representatives from IDOT. Both sites are accessible to persons with disabilities. If special accommodations are needed, contact the District Engineer's office at 815-434-8435, or TTY 815-434-6164.

The study will also offer an interactive web site where the public can find updated information. Plans are also under way to conduct public opinion surveys and focus groups to learn more about local and regional transportation needs.

Depending on the findings of the needs analysis, additional studies, such as the identification of new alternatives to address those needs, and an analysis of engineering and environmental impacts, may be done over the next five years.

"We want people in the region to have a first-hand look at what the Phase I study will entail. It's important to remember that this study will take a new look at local and regional transportation needs and will not be influenced, or bound by, any prior studies and reports", said IDOT District Engineer Jim Jereb.

"The study will ensure responsible planning in an area of high growth and increasing traffic challenges," Jereb said. "These steps strategically evaluate future transportation options prior to potentially costly and conflicting land development."
Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, Inc. will conduct the Phase I study.

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