About the Study
Project Study Area
The I-55 at Weber Road Study is assessing the existing design of the I-55 at Weber Road interchange in addition to possible improvements to the interchange and Weber Road within the project study area. The study area encompasses two miles of Weber Road starting at 119th Street continuing south past and including the I-55 interchange to 135th Street.
The purpose of the project is to address safety, operational, and capacity deficiencies in the Interstate 55 and Weber Road Interchange project study area.
This section of Weber Road and the interchange with I-55 are critical commuting links for the region and serve a number of businesses and industries locally. The I-55 at Weber Road interchange was built in 1990. At that time, much of the area around Weber Road was used for farming with a few residential subdivisions. Since 1990, the population in Will County has nearly doubled, making it one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. The interchange and roadway are congested and traffic volumes are anticipated to continue to increase as growth continues in the region. In 2009, Will County completed a feasibility study of possible improvements to the interchange. Information from this study will be used in the current project and environmental studies being led by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires the consideration of environmental issues for "major" federal actions. These actions can include use of federal funds, federal land, or federal permits. NEPA is a procedural law that requires any planning data or decisions incorporated in planning documents to meet NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality standards.
In the case of the I-55 at Weber Road Study a Categorical Exclusion II (CEII) is being prepared. Categorical exclusions (CEs) are actions that do not involve significant environmental impacts and therefore neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.
CSS and Community Input
Illinois Department of Transportation has identified this study as a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) project. This approach enhances public outreach and participation in the transportation planning process and provides more opportunity for community input into the transportation solution for the I-55 at Weber Road Study. Since community issues can be complex, the CSS process works as a partnership between IDOT and stakeholders to come up with working solutions to Illinois’ transportation needs.
Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Approach
The I-55 at Weber Road Study will utilize Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), ...'a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility.' - Federal Highway Administration
For more information about the CSS Process, click on the following link: http://www.dot.il.gov/css/home.html