Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 217-782-6953
March 3, 2004
TTY: 217-524-4875

PRAIRIE PARKWAY STUDY REPORT
IDENTIFIES TRANSPORTATION DEFICIENCIES

Ottawa, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced the findings of the Transportation System Performance Report that evaluates the need for future transportation improvements in northeastern Illinois.

IDOT has scheduled two public information meetings on March 17 and 18 where the public can learn more about the findings of Part A of the Prairie Parkway Phase I Preliminary Engineering Study. The report identifies a number of existing and projected future transportation system deficiencies in the study area, which includes all of Kendall County and portions of DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle and Will counties.

“This comprehensive study, which includes significant public input, identifies needs and deficiencies which must be addressed in this dynamic region,” said District 3 Engineer Diane O'Keefe of IDOT. “Population and traffic are increasing at a high rate, which is putting increased demand on a roadway system that is already at or near capacity.”

Following are some of the significant findings.
  • There are fewer north-south higher-capacity roads, including IL-47, IL-23 (north of I-88 in DeKalb County) and IL-59. There are more east-west higher-capacity roads, such as I-80, I-88, US-30, IL-64, IL-71 and portions of US-34, US-52, IL-38 and IL-56.
  • The Fox River, which crosses the study area, limits the north-south movement of people and goods.
  • At present, 85 percent of the streets and highways in the study area are two-lane roads. Between I-80 and I-88, no north-south multilane road exists from IL-59 to I-39, a distance of nearly 50 miles.
  • Three counties in the study area are ranked on the list of 100 fastest growing counties in the United States in 2002: Will (#4),Kane (#9) and Kendall (#53).
  • By 2030, the estimated population in the six counties will increase by 89 percent, from 1.2 million to 2.3 million people. 
  • An imbalance between jobs and housing in the study area, meaning that there are more workers than jobs in the study area, resulting in more travel leaving the study area to get to work.
  • As an example, work trips from Kendall County to Will County are projected to increase 176 percent, and from Kendall to Kane by 152 percent by 2030.
  • Traffic congestion already exists on major roads in the study area, with an expected 76% increase in study area vehicle trips
  • Worsening of congestion on almost all major roads in the study area by 2030, with greater increases in traffic congestion on smaller roads.
  • A forecasted increase in travel times within the study area and to the remainder of the region between 2000 and 2030.

“Public involvement has been important to the completion of the Part A study,” said IDOT District 3 Engineer Diane O'Keefe. “Not only have we conducted our own needs study for this report; we have also conducted focus groups with people in the region and worked closely with public officials of municipalities and counties to ensure that the data is timely and as accurate as possible. The public has been eager to know the results of this study and we look forward to sharing the findings with them at the upcoming public information meetings.”

The entire Transportation System Performance Report is available for viewing at www.prairie-parkway.com .

To give the public an opportunity to learn more about the findings of the Transportation Performance Report, IDOT has scheduled two public information meetings. They will be held at:

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 Thursday, March 18, 2004
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
White Oak Elementary School Kaneland Elementary School, South Campus
2001 Dupont Street 85 S. Main Street
Morris, Illinois 60450 Sugar Grove, Illinois 60554

The public is invited and encouraged to attend at any time during the public information meetings. During the open houses, the public will be able to watch a PowerPoint presentation, review exhibits and discuss the study with representatives from IDOT. A question and answer session with representatives from IDOT will also start at 6:30 p.m. each night.

Both sites are accessible to persons with disabilities. If special accommodations are needed, please contact IDOT's office at 815-434-8435, or TTY 815-434-6164.

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