While looking for something else, I stumbled across this document that appears to have been prepared in 2001, based on the dates of the public meetings conducted:http://www.dot.state.il.us/SRAReports/500%20Series/501.pdf
(very large file, I think 60 MB)
In the above referenced document, I found the following section regarding proposed improvements to Illinois 394 south of U.S. 30, on pages III-33 and III-34 (pages 142-143 of the PDF):
3.7.5 Recommended SRA Improvements
The Illinois Route 1 intersection with Illinois Route 394 is planned to be relocated further east opposite Village Woods Drive. As part of the realignment, the new Illinois Route 1 intersection with Illinois Route 394 will be signalized. The ultimate geometric design and traffic control for this intersection will be determined as part of any realignment study for Illinois Route 1 south of Goodenow Road. See Exhibit D-1 for a detail of the realignment of Illinois Route 1 north of Goodenow Road.
A study is underway by the Illinois Department of Transportation for the portion of Illinois Route 394 beginning north of U.S. Route 30 south to the realigned Illinois Route 1 intersection. The needs of that study are to improve highway safety, traffic flow, and roadway deficiencies. The proposed major improvements to Illinois Route 394 include:
• Widening from two travel lanes in each direction to three
• Grade separate and create an interchange at Sauk Trail, Steger Road, and Exchange Street
• Grade separate and provide no access to Richton Road and Faithorn-Burville Road
Two things of interest:
1. The southern end of Illinois 394 has been moved to a new signalized intersection located at the entrance to the Village Woods Retirement Village in Crete. Google Maps has picked this realignment up in its current map:http://maps.google.com/maps?q=2681+S.+Rte+394+in+Crete&hl=en&ll=41.399646,-87.624789&spn=0.001149,0.002642&sll=41.021387,-87.723126&sspn=0.018488,0.058622&t=h&hnear=2681+Illinois+394,+Crete,+Will,+Illinois+60417&z=19
This traffic signal apparently now represents the southern end of Illinois 394, although I've not visited there in a few years. Is the realignment and related construction of Illinois 1/Dixie Highway (Main St) completed? Does anyone know how this new intersection is signed? How has the Goodenow Road intersection changed (if at all)? I recall the old Goodenow Road intersection used to have very large "End Illinois 394" signs, but I wonder if those have gone away and been relocated north to Village Woods/New Illinois 1.
2. I had wondered about if/when Illinois 394 might be given grade separations from Sauk Trail southward and whether all intersecting roads would be granted interchanges. Now it appears those at-grade intersections at Sauk Trail, Steger Road, and Exchange Street would receive interchanges, and the at-grade intersections at Richton Road and Faithorn-Burville Road would be eliminated with no access to 394. Has anyone heard of whether such improvements are funded and the timeframe in which such improvements may occur? Other than this document, I've not seen anything else suggesting that such improvements were on the horizon. The Sauk Trail intersection in particular has a high vehicle accident rate, but the traffic volumes decrease as 394 proceeds further south.
The South Suburban Airport proposal is mentioned in passing on page III-9 ("A connection between Illinois Route 1 and a future east/west expressway serving the proposed South Suburban Airport could occur south of Old Monee Road. A study for this connection would be conducted separately.") and again in the context of possible increased traffic on 394. The Illiana expressway is not mentioned at all.
I'm sure Chicago-area folks have more recent information on 394 than what's presented in this report, so I'd be interested to read their comments. It appears as if the Illinois 1/394 realignment has already been done based on the Google Maps change.