I-90 from I-190 to Harlem Ave. Project

The Illinois Department of Transportation has prepared plans to improve Interstate 90 (I-90) from Interstate 190 (I-190) to Harlem Avenue. The overall improvement involves multiple contracts to be built over several years; I-90 Eastbound, I-90 Westbound, and a Noise wall contract. The work covered under these three contracts is located in northwestern Cook County, Illinois, in the City of Chicago. The I-90 Eastbound contract was let July 29, 2016 while both the I-90 Westbound and Noise wall contracts will be let at a later date. This webpage provides information for the Eastbound segment of the I-90 project.

I-90 is a major east-west transportation route and is an important link in the nation’s transportation system. I-90 is the only interstate route that travels to the northwest area of Chicago and provides a major direct transportation connection between the City of Rockford and the northwestern suburbs of Chicago.

The section of I-90 between Chicago-O’Hare International Airport and the City of Chicago’s central business district plays an essential role in moving people and goods on a regional and local level within Illinois. I-90 also provides a direct connection to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport via I-190. Lastly, it connects to Interstate 294 (I-294) which runs north-south along the western boundary of Chicago.

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.

PROPOSED WORK

The project will be delivered under three construction contracts with the following limits:

Eastbound I-90

  • From just west of Illinois Route 171 (Cumberland Avenue) to the eastbound Harlem Avenue exit ramp.

Westbound I-90

  • I-190 to the westbound Harlem Avenue entrance ramp.

Noise wall contract

  • Eastbound and westbound I-90 between Cumberland Avenue and Harlem Avenue.

Need for Improvement

  • Operational Deficiencies
  • Safety Deficiencies

Proposed Work

Eastbound I-90

  • Addition of an auxiliary lane between Cumberland Avenue and Harlem Avenue
  • Ramp modifications at Cumberland Avenue, Canfield Road, and Harlem Avenue interchanges to tie into the widened mainline pavement.
  • Construction of three new retaining walls and repairs to two existing retaining walls.
  • Resurfacing of eastbound mainline I-90 from west of Cumberland Avenue to Harlem Avenue and Higgins Avenue from N. Oriole Avenue to N. Harlem Avenue.
  • Relocation of two Chicago Department of Water Management (CDWM) water mains.

Westbound I-90

  • Addition of an auxiliary lane between Canfield Road and Harlem Avenue
  • Construction of a new westbound Collector-Distributer (CD) roadway just west of Canfield Road that provides access to and from Cumberland Avenue and access to westbound I-190.
  • Ramp modifications at Cumberland Avenue, Canfield Road, and Harlem Avenue interchanges to tie into the widened mainline pavement.
  • Construction of six new retaining walls and repairs to five existing retaining walls.
  • Reconstruction of the existing retaining wall at the westbound Canfield Road exit ramp due to a realignment of the ramp.
  • Resurfacing of westbound mainline I-90 from I-190 to Harlem Avenue

Noise Wall Contract

  • Construction of eight noise walls between Cumberland Avenue and Harlem Avenue on both sides of I-90.
  • Resurfacing of frontage roads (Higgins Road from east of Cumberland Avenue to N. Oriole Avenue, and W. Bryn Mawr Avenue from N. Oriole Avenue to N. Harlem Avenue.)

Maintenance of Traffic

Eastbound I-90 contract

  • The proposed Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) for the construction of the I-90 project is developed based on two essential goals:
  1. Maintain the current number of lanes along I-90 mainline.
         a. Noted Exception: A fourteen (14) consecutive day closure is required for EB I-90 Lane #4 (far right lane which is the
             Auxiliary Lane for NB Cumberland ramp exit) in Stage 1 for ramp gore reconstruction.
  2. Maintain all ramp movements between the interstate and the connecting roadways.
         a.  Noted Exception: The EB entrance ramp from Canfield Road will be reconstructed to tie into the widened          
              pavement. This ramp will be closed during construction due to height differences between the existing and proposed
              conditions. Detour routes have been developed.

The suggested MOT plans can be divided into a pre-stage and two main construction stages along I-90.  Lane reductions (other than the exception noted above) will only be allowed during nighttime off-peak hours in order to minimize adverse impacts on traffic flow along I-90 during construction.

  • Pre-Stage – The existing three lanes of mainline traffic will be maintained while lane widths and shoulder widths will be reduced to 11 feet and 2 feet, respectively. Traffic will be shifted towards the outside shoulder.
  • Stage 1 – The existing three lanes of mainline traffic will be maintained while lane widths and shoulder widths will be reduced to 11 feet and 2 feet, respectively. Traffic will be shifted towards the median. Ramp construction at Cumberland Ave and Harlem Ave interchanges will be performed in multiple stages in order to keep the ramps open to traffic.
  • Stage 2 – Four lanes of eastbound mainline traffic will be maintained during peak hours. Resurfacing of mainline pavement will occur during off-peak hours, and up to two lanes may be closed for this operation using temporary lane closures. Resurfacing along the frontage road will also be performed during off-peak hours.

Proposed Detour

  • Pre Stage Detours:
    • No Detours
  • Stage I Detours:
    • Detour #1 - Close Canfield Road entrance ramp
      • Detour Map – See attached
      • Detour Length - 2 mile
      • Detour Approximate Duration - 16 weeks, dependent upon retaining wall construction
      • Detour Route - North on Canfield Rd, East on Higgins Road, South on Oriole Avenue, continue east on Higgins Avenue, north on Harlem Avenue, east on Harlem Avenue ramp (from Gregory Street).
  • Detour #2 - Close and detour Higgins Avenue westbound traffic only
    • Detour Map - See attached
    • Detour Length - 6 mile
    • Detour Approximate Duration – 12 weeks
    • Detour Route - North on Harlem Avenue, west on Bryn Mawr Avenue.
  • Stage 2:
    • No Detours

Project Schedule

Eastbound I-90 contract

  • Scheduled Letting Date: July 29, 2016
  • Estimated start of construction: October 2016
  • Estimated completion of construction: November 2017

Coordination with Municipalities and Agencies

  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Chicago Department of Transportation
  • Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
  • Pace
  • Gateway Green
  • Chicago Department of Water Management

Project Benefits

  • Reduces weaving conflicts
  • Reduces congestion and travel times
  • Enhanced safety
  • Reduces noise at the location of noise wall construction
  • Improved drainage
  • Improved ramp geometrics

CONTACT US

If you have questions about the project, please fill out the feedback form or contact us at:

Illinois Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
201 West Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 60196

Please continue to visit the I-90 from I-190 to Harlem Avenue project website for periodic updates throughout the course of the improvement.

The Illinois Department of Transportation looks forward to your continued input and support.

 

The Illinois Department of Transportation (Department) has recently initiated preliminary engineering and environmental studies (Phase I) to improve Interstate 90 (I-90) from Interstate 190 (I-190) to Harlem Avenue (IL 43) in Cook County. This section of I-90 is adjacent to the Village of Harwood Heights, Village of Norridge, City of Park Ridge, and the 41st Ward of the City of Chicago. The proposed project will evaluate operational improvements along I-90 between I-190 and Harlem Avenue (IL 43). This study has been identified as a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) project.

Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Approach

The I-90 Phase I 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.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is studying potential highway improvements to Interstate 90 (I-90) between the junction of the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) and Interstate 190 (I-190) on the west and Illinois Route 43 (Harlem Avenue) on the east -- a distance of approximately 2 miles. The study is being led by IDOT in close coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As the joint lead agencies, IDOT and FHWA will ultimately be the decision-makers for the I-90 project.

The I-90 corridor is located in Cook County and is adjacent to four communities: Chicago, Harwood Heights, Norridge, and Park Ridge. There are two interchanges within this section of I-90, Illinois Route 171 (Cumberland Avenue) and Canfield Avenue, and two multi-modal transit hubs located at Cumberland Avenue and Harlem Avenue.

The purpose of the I-90 Improvements Study is to improve safety and traffic operations, as well as provide an appropriate transition between the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), I-190, and the Kennedy Expressway (I-90).

This section of I-90 experiences major congestion due to the merging and diverging of two major highways (I-90 and I-190) and the presence of a busy interchange at Cumberland Avenue. At the eastern end of the project, Harlem Avenue is a major traffic generator which contributes to congested conditions.

In addition, the Illinois Tollway is adding capacity to the Jane Addams Memorial TollwayI-90 northwest of the study area. This could lead to an increase in traffic volumes both on the Tollway and in the project corridor.

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.

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Design Approval (December 19, 2014) The I-90 Phase I Study is now complete and design approval was obtained on December 19,2014. The project will now continue in Phase II. For more information about Phase II please contact Ms. Serin Keller at Serin.Keller@illinois.gov

Potential Noise Barrier Voting Results (August 7, 2014) The Department has tallied the votes from benefited receptors for their respective potential noise barrier. A summary of the voting results can be found on the Resources page.

 Public Hearing (February 13, 2014) A public hearing was held on Wednesday February 13, 2014 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Chicago O’Hare. The intention of the hearing was to present the purpose and need for the project, the preferred alternative, and to seek public comment. Potential noise abatement measures are also being considered for inclusion in this project. Public was encouraged to provide comments on the recommended preferred improvement. Comments provided by the attendees were collected by the project team. A presentation and additional documents from this meeting can be found on the Resource page.

PWG Meeting #3 (January 21, 2014)The third Project Working Group (PWG) meeting for the Phase I Study of I-90 from I-190 to IL 43 (Harlem Avenue) was held on January 21, 2013 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Roden Public Library in Chicago. The purpose of the meeting was to present the preferred alternative, the noise analysis and provide a preview of the public hearing to the stakeholders in order to gather their input and feedback. A summary of the meeting along with other related documents from this meeting can be found on the Resource page.

PWG Meeting #2 (September 6, 2013) The second Project Working Group (PWG) meeting for the Phase I Study of I-90 from I-190 to IL 43 (Harlem Avenue) was held on September 6, 2013 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Roden Public Library in Chicago. The purpose of the meeting was to review the previously defined deficiencies, present the potential improvements for the project and gather stakeholder input and feedback. A summary of the meeting along with other related documents from this meeting can be found on the Resources page.

PWG Meeting #1 (April 29, 2013) The first PWG meeting was held to review and obtain comments on the presentation and displays for Public Meeting #1 on April 29, 2013 at the Roden Library in Chicago. A summary of meeting can be found on the Resources page.

Public Meeting #1 (March 26, 2013) A public meeting was held at the Holiday Inn Chicago O’Hare to update the public on the project status, present the project problem statement, present the purpose and need, review the initial range of alternative, introduce the alternative evaluation process and screening criteria, and to explain next steps in the project process. Comments and new ideas provided by the attendees were collected by the project team. A presentation and additional documents from this meeting can be found on the Resources page.

There are many opportunities for you to learn about this project and to provide your comments to the Project Study Team:

  1. Attend a public meeting. Visit the Public Involvement page on this website to find out more about upcoming meetings.
  2. Comment on the project. You can send us your comments, questions, and ideas at any time during the planning process.

 

Throughout the study process, there will be a number of ways to participate. You may follow the progress of the project by attending PWG meetings, checking the website, and receiving newsletters. The public meeting was held in March 26, 2013 to gather public input and share project information. Study newsletters will be sent to those that wish to be added to the study’s mailing list by filling out the form to the right.

Public Hearing
A public hearing is planned for February 13, 2014 to announce the preliminary preferred alternative and to gather additional input from the public.

Public Meeting
A public meeting was held at the start of the study to offer opportunities for interested parties to provide input into community context, transportation issues, the project problem statement, and the development of possible solutions. The location and time of the public meeting was advertised in brochures as well as in local newspapers to invite all community members to attend. Throughout the study, this website and other multimedia and interactive opportunities to provide input and receive information will be made available.

Project Study Group
The project study group is comprised of representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation

Project Working Group
A Project Working Group (PWG) was formed to assist the IDOT Project Study Group (PSG) with defining the study’s context, determining the study’s Purpose and Need and developing alternatives. The PWG consists of stakeholders with expertise or interest in transportation, land use, the environment, or economic development in the study area. Members of the PWG provide input on the study, attend PWG meetings, and collaborate with the PSG.

Stakeholder Involvement Plan
Stakeholder involvement is critical to the success of this project. A Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP) was developed to provide a guide for implementing a meaningful public involvement plan for the study and a framework for engaging stakeholders.

The Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP) includes:

  • A detailed inventory of stakeholders
  • The roles and responsibilities of participants in the public involvement process
  • A description of opportunities for stakeholder participation
  • A tentative schedule of public involvement activities planned throughout the study

View the Stakeholder Involvement Plan.

Contact Us

Feedback Form

Potential Noise Barrier Voting Results (8/7/14)

Public Hearing (02/13/14)

Project Working Group Meeting #3 (01/21/14)

Project Working Group Meeting #2 (9/6/13)

Project Working Group Meeting #1 (4/29/13)

Public Information Meeting (3/26/13)

Videos

Brochure

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the purpose of this study?

A: The purpose of the I-90 Improvements Study is to improve safety and traffic operations, as well as provide an appropriate transition between the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway and the Kennedy Expressway.

Q: What is the Phase I project process?

STEP 1: Analyze Existing Conditions – The study team will evaluate existing conditions in the corridor to identify deficiencies and problems. Meetings will be held with representatives of the communities in the study area to gather information on their issues and concerns within the project corridor. IDOT will also hold a Public Meeting on March 26, 2013 to present the identified issues, concerns and transportation needs to project stakeholders as well as solicit feedback about the project.

STEP 2: Develop Purpose and Need Statement – Using the information obtained in Step 1, IDOT will develop a Problem Statement and a Purpose and Need Statement. The Problem Statement summarizes the identified issues and concerns for the project. It will guide the development of the Purpose and Need for the project, which is an explanation of why the project is needed. IDOT will hold a meeting with the Project Working Group (PWG), which will be comprised of mayors or other representatives of the communities, to aid in developing the Problem Statement and the Purpose and Need.

STEP 3: Develop and Analyze Potential Improvements – The third step in the study process involves the identification of possible improvements and development of the criteria to evaluate those improvements. IDOT anticipates holding the second meeting with the PWG during this step. Preliminary engineering design will also occur during this step. A recommended set of improvements will be identified using the evaluation criteria, as well as feedback from the PWG.

STEP 4: Evaluate Potential Impacts and Benefits – Once the recommended improvements have been identified, the potential impacts and benefits will be evaluated. The findings of this analysis will be presented and discussed with the PWG during the final meeting with the group, documented in the Phase I engineering report, and presented for review and comment at the Public Hearing. This report will also include the environmental analysis required by state and federal laws. IDOT will consider the findings of the technical analyses, as well as all public and stakeholder input collected throughout the Phase I study, as it makes the final decision on the project. IDOT anticipates holding the public hearing on February 13, 2014.

Q: When will this study be complete?

A: The I-90 from I-190 to IL 43 Study is anticipated to have a design approval by March, 2014.

Q: Who is a project stakeholder?

A: I-90 Improvements Study stakeholders are individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be affected as a result of project completion. Stakeholder involvement is critical to the success of this project and an integral part of the Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) process.

Q: What is Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS)?

A: Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) became official policy for the Department of Transportation (IDOT) in August of 2005. Context Sensitive Solutions is an interdisciplinary approach that seeks effective, multimodal transportation solutions by working with stakeholders to develop, build and maintain cost-effective transportation facilities which fit into and reflect the project’s surroundings – its “context.” More information on CSS can be found here.

Q: Who is involved in this project?

A: The project is being conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Representatives from Cook County, the Village of Harwood Heights, Village of Norridge, City of Park Ridge, and City of Chicago have been invited to take part in the stakeholder involvement process. Various organizations, from local to state, as well as interested residents have also been invited to take part in the stakeholder involvement process.

Q: When will construction start?

A: Currently phase III (Construction) is not funded yet.

Q: How can I get involved?

A: Continue to check the project website for updates and view the Public Involvement page. If you would like to receive notifications of scheduled meetings, newsletters, and important updates, sign up for the project mailing list to the right.

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