IDOT designated this study as a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) project. CSS is a collaborative approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a facility that fits into its surroundings and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while maintaining safety and mobility. The purpose of CSS is to gather and consider input on the project from all interested stakeholders. Public involvement is a key component of CSS and is strongly encouraged during this study. IDOT will proactively seek stakeholder input and partnerships early and often as it develops solutions for this study area.
A stakeholder is anyone who could be affected by the project and has a stake in its outcome. Stakeholders are identified as all residents of the study area, users of the facility, and those interested parties who can directly affect the outcome of a planning process.
A Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP) has been prepared for this project and the SIP will be used as a blueprint for defining methods and tools to educate and engage all stakeholders in the decision-making process for this project.
To assist in the development of the I-290 Eisenhower Expressway Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Study, IDOT has established a Corridor Advisory Group (CAG). The purpose of the CAG is to provide input on the development of the Purpose and Need statement and the alternatives to be carried forward for evaluation in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The CAG group consists of community leaders (Mayor or Manager from each of the eight communities in the study area and the Chairman or representative from Cook & DuPage Counties) that are directly affected by the study, and who have authority to speak on their communities behalf. The CAG will represent the views of the communities and counties within the project area. The responsibility of this group includes providing input to the study process at key project milestones (e.g., project purpose and need, range of alternatives to be advanced for detailed study, and the recommended alternative(s).
The Task Force (TF) provides a means for obtaining structured input from a diverse set of stakeholders with technical expertise. The two TF categories (Transportation/Engineering and Land Use /Environmental) intend to focus on technical aspects of the project development and provide external information and input with respect to transportation, engineering, land use, and environmental topics.
The TF’s will be formed as needed, and be comprised of stakeholders with in these categories. The TF members may include CAG members or designated staff and other governmental bodies, transportation agencies, or interest groups.
The TF’s will meet throughout the project development process, and TF input will be shared with the CAG. The TF’s will focus on understanding and resolving more specific technical issues as they arise and report back to the CAG. The TF’s may be asked to address the CAG to help communicate technical subject matter issues.
View a larger version of the Project Working Group Structure [pdf / 222 kb]
Stakeholder involvement for the I-290 planning study will be an ongoing process from project initiation through completion. Various meetings will be held throughout the project development process to provide outreach opportunities to all stakeholders.
A public hearing will be held near the end of the planning study. The public hearing will present the evaluation of the recommended alternative. The hearing is part of a Federal requirement for the DEIS under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The public will have the opportunity to view and provide their testimony on the recommended alternative.
Comments received at the public meetings will be documented and the information will be considered as a part of the analysis and evaluation of the improvement alternatives. Individuals on the mailing list will receive invitations in the mail announcing meeting information.
In addition to the meeting opportunities described in the preceding section, there will be several other methods for the public to obtain information about the project. These methods (noted below) will provide information and opportunity for feedback regarding upcoming public meeting events, project schedule, and general project status updates within the study area.