Deerfield Road Study Update from Lake County Division of Transportation
By: Matthew Huffman, P.E. – Project Manager, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. Lake County
Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is the lead agency for a Phase I Engineering Study of Deerfield Road from the Milwaukee Avenue intersection to the Saunders/Riverwoods Road intersection. This project is following the federal project development process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and is overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As part of the federal project requirements, an Environmental Assessment (EA) is being prepared for this project, which is a concise public document that evaluates the significance of impacts for a transportation project. An EA is organized into four main sections: the purpose and need for the proposed action, alternatives, environmental impacts, and project coordination.
Since the first public information meeting in November 2016, the project team has been working on the Purpose and Need statement. The Purpose and Need statement provides information as to why an improvement is needed and establishes a basis for developing a full range of alternatives. The preliminary Purpose and Need statement was provided to the Stakeholder Involvement Group (SIG) for review and comment in early April 2017. FHWA and other state and federal resource agencies reviewed and commented on the preliminary Purpose and Need statement throughout the spring, and on June 19th concurrence was received on the Purpose and Need statement, and the project team will begin working on the second section of the EA: alternatives.
The next step in the project will be developing a full range of alternatives to be analyzed and evaluated. The second SIG meeting was held on June 28th and focused on gathering input and ideas on alternatives to be considered. The overall objective of this step of the project is to determine all possible alternatives and subsequently proceed through a process of analysis, evaluation, alternative comparison, and elimination. The alternatives development will be ongoing throughout summer 2017.
All project related information, including summaries of the first public information meeting, SIG meetings and other project related materials, can be found on the project website (www.DeerfieldRoadCorridor.com). Comments on the project can also be submitted via the project website and are welcome throughout the entire study period.