Illinois Department of Transportation, Gary Hannig, Secretary

Interstate 55

Located in Will County, Illinois

City of Joliet & Village of Shorewood

The Highway Development Process

Phase I - Planning Stage

This phase involves the preparation of an engineering and environmental report which focuses on a geometric alternatives analysis and an environmental impact evaluation. Various alternatives are developed as part of this process. After all alternatives are evaluated and considered, they will be further refined to avoid and minimize impacts. If avoidance is not possible or feasible, mitigation measures will be identified. Subsequent to this evaluation, a preferred alternative will be selected and carried forward into the next design phase. We are currently in this stage of the Highway Development Process.

Phase II - Design Stage and Land Acquisition

During this stage, detailed construction plans and specifications are produced for the purpose of allowing contractors to develop a price proposal to construct all proposed improvements. The required land needed to build and operate the highway, as identified as a result of the Phase I Study, would be purchased.

Phase III - Construction

The proposed improvements are constructed, operated and maintained.

Context Sensitive Solutions

CSS Process

This project is being developed using the Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) approach. CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a facility that fits into its surroundings and preserves cultural, scenic, aesthetic, historic and environmental resources while maintaining roadway safety and mobility. By utilizing the CSS approach, we are able to consider the unique framework, or context, of the I-55 project as we develop a plan for its improvement.

The Role of Stakeholders

Project stakeholders include anyone potentially affected by, concerned with, or interested in the outcome of the proposed improvements being contemplated by IDOT. Stakeholders can include homeowners and business owners, as well as local counties, villages and park districts. Opportunity for communication with all project stakeholders is vital to the project's success, therefore once stakeholders are identified, we work closely with them to understand how the roadway changes may affect them now and in the future. We hold public information meetings and develop community advisory groups to be able to address the diverse needs and priorities of the affected communities.

The Definition of Consensus

Consensus is defined as a majority of the stakeholders in agreement, with the minority concurring that their input was appropriately considered. IDOT will attempt to achieve stakeholder consensus on project choices. While IDOT is ultimately responsible for the final project decisions, it makes those decisions by considering all of the information at its disposal.

The Definition of Context

Context is all elements related to the people and place where a project is located. This includes both visible elements such as environmental or historic resources and invisible elements such as community values, traditions, and/or expectations.