Prairie Parkway Corridor Protection Study

This website was developed to provide information on the Corridor Protection Study underway in Grundy, Kendall and Kane counties between I-80 and I-88. These counties are located in northeastern Illinois approximately 40 miles west of Chicago.

The Corridor Protection Statute provides an important tool for responsible planning in areas of high growth because it allows the identification of future transportation facilities prior to costly and conflicting development of land. This protection provides benefits to the environment, property and business owners and the traveling public. Unnecessary environmental impacts can be avoided because the corridor protection process can be done early before land development forecloses options that avoid environmentally sensitive areas. Residents and business owners can make informed decisions about their property and plan for future infrastructure that will service their needs. For the traveling public, corridor protection provides the opportunity to have transportation alternatives delivered more cost effectively.

Note: IDOT projects typically have three distinct phases. Phase I (or the project Study) consists of developing the project scope, environmental studies and preliminary design of a project. Phase II (Design) consists of refining the design to develop contract plans and land acquisition. Phase III (Construction) consists of the actual construction of the project.

 

A study was initiated in 1999 due to the growing development pressures and congestion and the recognized need for an additional facility for north-south travel through the region. The study focused on investigating the merits of corridor protection from I-80 to I-88. Three broad corridors were identified, based on study of existing and planned homes, floodways and wetlands, parks and preserves, Illinois Natural Area Sites, and threatened and endangered species locations. The Central Corridor, connecting I-80 west of Minooka to I-88 north of Kaneville, was presented by IDOT as the preferred corridor at a public hearing in December 2001. Following the public comment period, revisions were made to the map, and a Record of Hearing approving the map under the state’s Corridor Protection statute was signed by the Secretary of Transportation in July 2002.

In late 2002, a new study, the Prairie Parkway Preliminary Engineering Study, was begun to determine the transportation needs of a six-county area and to investigate whether additional improvements were needed to address the area’s transportation to the year 2030. The study was not bound by the results of the previous Corridor Protection, and it was established that all, part, or none of the recorded corridor might be used as part of a comprehensive solution. An extended program of public outreach was initiated, involving citizens, interest groups, elected officials, state and federal agencies, and the staffs of local municipalities and counties.

In March 2005, the Purpose and Need of the project was concurred with by state and federal resource agencies: to improve north-south regional mobility, to address local system deficiencies, to improve access from the study area to regional jobs, and to improve safety.

A broad range of alternatives was developed and presented to the public in May 2005, consisting of widening existing roads, new freeways, increased public transit and traffic management techniques, and combinations of these alternatives. In October 2005, two “build” alternatives were selected for detailed environmental and engineering study, each consisting of a new freeway between I-80 and I-88. Also included with these alternatives was the improvement of IL 47 from I-80 to Caton Farm Road, in order to complete the connection of IL 47 from I-80 to I-88 along with other planned projects.

The preferred alternative, B5 Freeway with IL 47 improvements, was announced by the Department in June 2007. A Record of Decision, approving the preferred alternative in a Final Environmental Impact Statement, is expected by the end of 2007 or early 2008.

Because the preferred alternative follows less than half of the Corridor Protection alignment recorded in 2002, the Department elected to amend the Corridor Protection to reflect the B5 freeway component of the preferred alternative. Public Hearings were held in July 2007 to present the amended Corridor Protection Map to the public, and to consider any comments in finalizing the new map. Following this process, the new map, which supersedes the Corridor Protection Map recorded in 2002, was approved in a Record of Hearing by the Secretary of Transportation on November 8, 2007. Notices were sent to property owners in both the old 2002 and the new 2007 corridors, advising them of their property’s current status under the new map. The new map was also filed with the Recorder of Deeds in each of the three affected counties.

Record of Hearing with Corridor Protection maps

This site will be updated periodically as the project progresses. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) wishes to thank you for your support and patience.

FAQ

What gives IDOT the right to record a corridor?
Illinois Statutes (Illinois Highway Code -605 ILCS 5/4-510) give the Department the authority to establish and protect rights of way for future additions to the state highway system and prevent costly and conflicting development of the land involved.

When will IDOT start buying the affected properties?
When a property owner within the protected corridor notifies IDOT that they plan to develop or improve their property , the Department has 45 days to decide whether or not to purchase the property .IDOT will only purchase the property if the proposed improvement conflicts with their goal of protecting the corridor from further development. As funding for land acquisition becomes available following the Record of Decision, additional properties may be acquired.

Can I sell my house?
Corridor Protection does not place restrictions on selling property, only improvements to property.

What happens if I have an improvement already in progress?
The Department should be notified for any physical improvements started after the Corridor Protection Map is recorded.

Will I be compensated for the change in property value due to being identified within the corridor?
Corridor Protection is not considered a property take; compensation will occur if and when the property is purchased. Compensation will be based on an appraiser's estimates of value at the time of actual purchase.

What happens to the recorded corridor that's been in place since 2002?
IDOT held a public hearing in July 2007 to alter the protected corridor, eliminate it where it is no longer needed, and record the new B5 corridor alignment. The new Corridor Protection Map was approved on November 8, 2007.

My property is within the Corridor Protection, but the new alignments do not go through my property. Can IDOT remove the Corridor Protection now?
The Corridor Protection was revised to reflect the alignment after a preferred alternative was identified. The amendment process for Corridor Protection required a preliminary map be prepared, a public meeting to be held, a comment period to allow for public input in the map changes, the final map revisions to be made, and the new map to be approved in a Record of Hearing. Letters were sent to property owners in both the old and new Corridor Protection advising them of their status. The new Corridor Protection Map supersedes the 2002 Map, and is recorded in each of the 3 affected counties.

Press Releases

Prairie Parkway Corridor Protection Map Revised
November 28, 2007

Public Hearing Notice - Prairie Parkway - Item B: Corridor Protection Revision
June 11, 2007

Prairie Parkway study that will evaluate the need for future transportation improvements in northeastern Illinois will begin immediately.

January 22, 2003

Prairie Parkway Corridor Protection Map Approved for New Regional Transportation Facility.
July 31, 2002

Early Public Involvement Results in Over 1,000 Public Responses
February 14, 2002

IDOT Personnel to Meet With Property Owners Directly Affected
January 23, 2002

Public Input Period Extended
December 26, 2001

Public Hearing Announcements
November 15, 2001
November 30, 2001

IDOT is currently at the early stages of Phase I for this project. This site will be updated periodically as the project progresses. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) wishes to thank you for your support and patience.

Photo Gallery