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Author Topic: Illinois 53 Extension  (Read 79832 times)

ChiMilNet

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #275 on: May 24, 2017, 11:05:39 PM »

The question is, if they built it as a proper six lane tollway, would it generate enough revenue to pay for itself? I've heard people claim it won't.

I'm sure a lot of those people come from Hawthorne Woods and Long Grove. Truly, the way it would be most profitable ever is if they ever actually finished the Richmond Bypass as well, on top of making it a true Interstate grade tollway.
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paulthemapguy

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #276 on: May 26, 2017, 09:31:15 AM »

In its current, four lane, 45mph "parkway" "livable" design, it cannot meet the requirements the road faces to ease congestion and promote economic development in the western part of Lake County. It's pure fantasy. Until the project is redesigned to a 6 lane freeway with a minimum 60 mph speed, I can't support the county hiking gas taxes, further tolling the Tri-State, and most ridiculously, taking property tax dollars from municipalities and business along the new road to pay for it. Lake County has far more pressing concerns, in my opinion, like the aforementioned 120, and all the other two lane state routes that are nearly impassable for 12 hours of the day due to a combination of two lane roads, and the ridiculous number of level crossings in the county.

PREACH

If this isn't a full-blown expressway, then forget it.  Screw the NIMBYs.
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Finrod

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #277 on: May 26, 2017, 11:25:42 AM »

IL 120 isn't the only E-W road in that area that's overloaded.  IL 22 and Lake-Cook Road are both horrible as well.



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I-90

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #278 on: May 30, 2017, 05:12:56 PM »

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The Illinois Tollway board on Thursday unanimously approved spending $25 million for an environmental impact study on a long-discussed proposed extension of Route 53 from Cook County into Lake County.

The 8-0 vote came after more than two hours of comments from people for and against the controversial project. Representatives from several construction companies spoke in favor of the study, saying the extension would bring jobs and relieve congestion in a growing region. Environmental groups and officials from the suburbs of Hawthorn Woods and Long Grove spoke against, noting the extension's projected $2.65 billion cost and its potential negative impact on wetlands.

The contract to study the extension was awarded to two engineering firms CH2M Hill and Knight E/A Inc., based in Englewood, Colo., and Chicago, respectively. Both have worked with the Tollway before.

Board chairman Robert Schillerstrom said the study, which is expected to take three to five years, will provide a fact-based evaluation on alternatives that will achieve the most congestion relief for the region while balancing environmental impacts.

"Every day, Lake and McHenry County families and businesses are faced with traffic congestion that means time away from their families and lost productivity at work," said Schillerstrom in a statement. "The region needs a comprehensive, long-term solution to reduce traffic gridlock."

Discussed since the 1960s, the proposed project would create a T-shaped tollway, with an extended Route 53 making up the north/south portion and a widened Illinois Route 120 creating the top east/west portion, for about 25 miles of new and improved roads. The Route 53 extension would run from suburban Arlington Heights to Grayslake.
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"Every day, Lake and McHenry County families and businesses are faced with traffic congestion that means time away from their families and lost productivity at work," said Schillerstrom in a statement. "The region needs a comprehensive, long-term solution to reduce traffic gridlock."

Discussed since the 1960s, the proposed project would create a T-shaped tollway, with an extended Route 53 making up the north/south portion and a widened Illinois Route 120 creating the top east/west portion, for about 25 miles of new and improved roads. The Route 53 extension would run from suburban Arlington Heights to Grayslake.

Quote
The proposal has already seen three previous environmental impact studies. A blue ribbon advisory council formed in 2011 of public officials and representatives from business, environmental and other interest groups favored a four-lane boulevard with a maximum speed of 45 mph and a number of environmental features.

The planning has never gotten to shovels in the ground, and some key backers have withdrawn their support, including the two council co-chairs, George Ranney and Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor. Some Lake County officials have turned their attention to pushing for improvements to congested Route 120, whether or not the 53 extension ever happens.
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Former Tollway board member Bill Morris of Grayslake told the Tollway board that Lake County is being held prisoner by the Route 53 proposal, which has delayed other needed projects like Route 120 and Route 83 improvements.

"Please let us out of Route 53 prison," said Morris.

The Tollway board heard from multiple proponents of the extension on Thursday and also received 250 letters in favor of the environmental impact study, as opposed to 60 letters against.

Among those writing in favor was Leon Rockingham, Jr., mayor of North Chicago and chair of the Lake Council of Mayors. Rockingham noted that the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has listed the project as a priority in their "Go to 2040" regional plan.

"Of all the capital projects in the region, it appears that this one has the largest congestion reduction benefits and the largest economic impact," Rockingham wrote. He noted that congestion and travel times continue to increase in the region, with studies showing a 98-minute commute from Grayslake to Schaumburg.

"It's no secret that traffic congestion is only going to get worse," said Illinois Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Council Executive Director Ben Brockschmidt, in a statement. "Reducing congestion is not only good for the environment, it's also good for economic development."

Long Grove President Bill Jacob told the board that the extension would increase traffic on already strained east/west routes in the region and attract unwanted sprawl.

Last month, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization, included the proposed Route 53 extension in its list of the country's most wasteful highway boondoggles.

Livable Lake County, a coalition that opposes the extension, has charged that moving ahead with the project violates the Illinois Tollway Act, in part because there is no Lake County representative on the board.

Backers for the project include the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, a think tank whose board members include representatives of the construction industry and labor unions. The institute did a poll last month, which found that 66 percent of 400 voters favored the extension.

Under the blue ribbon advisory council's framework, the road could be funded with tolls of 20 cents per mile about three times the Tollway average a 4 cent per gallon fuel tax and a capture of real estate tax revenues.

Tollway board member and Elk Grove Village President Craig Johnson said the study would allow those with questions and concerns about the extension to be part of the discussion.

"We will guarantee you are part of the process," said Johnson, who noted that the study may conclude that the extension should not be built.

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ILs mantra..the beatings will continue until the morale improves but Expect Delays is good too. Seems some are happy that Chicago/land remains MISERABLE. Status quo is often asinine...Always feel free to use a DICTIONARY

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Joe The Dragon

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #279 on: May 30, 2017, 08:33:38 PM »

we don't need an sub par IL-120 upgrade now maybe an US-12 and IL-120 upgrade in place of the an IL-53 / IL-120 tollway.
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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #280 on: May 31, 2017, 05:23:59 PM »

Quote
After years of angst over whether to extend Route 53 north into Lake County, the Illinois tollway moved with dizzying speed last week approving a $25 million study of the project. But while the board's vote took seconds, there were hours of fraught testimony from environmentalists fearful of pollution, residents worried about losing their homes, commuters sick of sitting in traffic and construction industry representatives lobbying for jobs.
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Here are five take-aways from a momentous week:

1. Promising to pay for the extension could be a game-changer.

Unlike his predecessors, Chairman Bob Schillerstrom pledged that if Route 53 is extended, the tollway will pay for the whole shebang. That means no unpopular 4-cent gas tax or special taxing districts in Lake County floated to subsidize the pricey parkway.
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After years of angst over whether to extend Route 53 north into Lake County, the Illinois tollway moved with dizzying speed last week approving a $25 million study of the project.

ADVERTISING

But while the board's vote took seconds, there were hours of fraught testimony from environmentalists fearful of pollution, residents worried about losing their homes, commuters sick of sitting in traffic and construction industry representatives lobbying for jobs.


Proposed Route 53 extension
graphic
Proposed Route 53 extension
 
 
Here are five take-aways from a momentous week:

1. Promising to pay for the extension could be a game-changer.

Unlike his predecessors, Chairman Bob Schillerstrom pledged that if Route 53 is extended, the tollway will pay for the whole shebang. That means no unpopular 4-cent gas tax or special taxing districts in Lake County floated to subsidize the pricey parkway.

"We're not contemplating in any way raising tolls," Schillerstrom said. "We don't rely on any local taxes, any state taxes or any federal taxes. We are a 100 percent user fee entity."

So would no gas tax sweeten the deal for opponents?

"I don't believe so," Lake County Board member Diane Hewitt said. For her constituents, the extension "is so far removed they'll never use it."

However, board member Paul Frank thinks "obviously a gas tax might alleviate concerns of some of the folks who are against it."

2. The bottom line is cost.

The latest toll road under construction is Route 390, an extension of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway. Tolls on it are 20 cents a mile compared to the 6-cent average elsewhere, reflecting the project's costs.

Asked if the tollway would charge 20 cents a mile on a new Route 53, Schillerstrom said, "there's no way I can speculate on that at this point. The first issue is -- is the road going to be built."

And if the answer is "yes," you can be sure the next question will be -- how do you pay for it?

3. Being inclusive could be elusive.

The tollway said it's "committed to working with elected officials, communities and key stakeholders in an inclusive" process. That will be tough as battle lines stretch from Lake to McHenry counties.

It's important to know the board's decision diverges from previous tollway leaders' cultivation of a blue-ribbon committee's plan for a 45-mph, nature-friendly, four-lane parkway up to Route 120 that was hamstrung by a staggering $2 billion or so shortfall.

From a straw poll with 11 Lake County Board members who responded, six wanted the extension and five didn't.

"The bottom line is something needs to be done," board member Thomas Weber said. "People want to be able to get to where they're going without the headache of traffic jams."

Meanwhile board member Steve Carlson calls the $25 million "wasted" and predicts "there's no way a majority on the county board will support the Route 53 extension."

Towns that could lose land and homes and environmental groups seeking to protect fragile wetlands and species are digging in.

"With a price tag of over $100 million per mile, and considering the extended Route 53's environmental impact, I now favor less expensive expansions of existing corridors," Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz said.

Equally determined are Buffalo Grove residents close to Route 53's terminus near Lake-Cook Road who want to stop traffic spilling out into their community.

"Anyone who drives in the area can attest to the fact we are already in the midst of a transportation and traffic congestion crisis," Village Trustee Jeffrey Berman said.

4. The tollway now owns a political hot potato.

For some years, the agency kept the Route 53 extension at arm's length, providing staff, consultants and funding for plans but not committing wholly to the project.

Now with $25 million at stake, that's changed.

Lake County Chairman Aaron Lawlor, who opposes the extension, said Friday that "it's not a decision of local officials -- it's a tollway project. It will be decided on by the tollway and, by proxy, the governor."

Former Lake County Chairman David Stolman agreed. "If there's to be a road, they'll be the ones who decide what it looks like."

Schillerstrom has promised the consultants will consider the 45-mph, four-lane parkway vision and deliver a "solution that values congestion relief and environmental stewardship."

That's a lot to deliver, and many will be keeping tabs.

"I would be vehemently opposed to a traditional roadway," Lawlor said.

5. Commuting in Lake County is relative.

Several Lake County speakers at tollway meetings last week described dystopian commutes leaving home at the crack of dawn to make it to work on time.

Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joseph Mancino, however, noted his trip to the tollway headquarters in Downers Grove was 46 minutes.

Got a Lake County travel story? An opinion on the Route 53 extension? Drop me an email at mpyke@dailyherald.com.
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ILs mantra..the beatings will continue until the morale improves but Expect Delays is good too. Seems some are happy that Chicago/land remains MISERABLE. Status quo is often asinine...Always feel free to use a DICTIONARY

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I-39

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #281 on: May 31, 2017, 09:23:04 PM »

More bickering....... Just build it as a six lane tollway and be done with it.
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Joe The Dragon

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #282 on: June 01, 2017, 03:06:22 PM »

More bickering....... Just build it as a six lane tollway and be done with it.
how do you want to work the us-12 end? 120 overpass in place? FAP-420? hug the edge of the volo auto museum?
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I-39

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #283 on: June 02, 2017, 12:43:42 PM »

More bickering....... Just build it as a six lane tollway and be done with it.
how do you want to work the us-12 end? 120 overpass in place? FAP-420? hug the edge of the volo auto museum?

Nothing can be done. Too much development and sensitive wetlands.
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mgk920

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #284 on: June 02, 2017, 02:56:34 PM »

More bickering....... Just build it as a six lane tollway and be done with it.
how do you want to work the us-12 end? 120 overpass in place? FAP-420? hug the edge of the volo auto museum?

Nothing can be done. Too much development and sensitive wetlands.

Yea, sadly, it will ultimately end up as bodged together upgrades of existing roads that ultimately becomes a single cohesive major highway.

Mike
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I-39

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #285 on: June 02, 2017, 03:28:13 PM »

More bickering....... Just build it as a six lane tollway and be done with it.
how do you want to work the us-12 end? 120 overpass in place? FAP-420? hug the edge of the volo auto museum?

Nothing can be done. Too much development and sensitive wetlands.

Yea, sadly, it will ultimately end up as bodged together upgrades of existing roads that ultimately becomes a single cohesive major highway.

Mike

I was referring to the FAP 420 corridor west of US 12. The regular IL-53/120 extension can and should be built, but it will cause a bottleneck in western Lake County since FAP 420 can't be built.
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mgk920

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #286 on: June 02, 2017, 03:48:41 PM »

More bickering....... Just build it as a six lane tollway and be done with it.
how do you want to work the us-12 end? 120 overpass in place? FAP-420? hug the edge of the volo auto museum?

Nothing can be done. Too much development and sensitive wetlands.

Yea, sadly, it will ultimately end up as bodged together upgrades of existing roads that ultimately becomes a single cohesive major highway.

Mike

I was referring to the FAP 420 corridor west of US 12. The regular IL-53/120 extension can and should be built, but it will cause a bottleneck in western Lake County since FAP 420 can't be built.

That's what I was thinking of.

Mike
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Joe The Dragon

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #287 on: June 03, 2017, 01:03:25 AM »

they need to overpass US-12 at volo. They can do in place of IL-120 right where it is.
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I-90

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #288 on: June 03, 2017, 01:09:00 PM »

Quote
It's summer, and one of the season's many aspects is car travel. On the fun side, road trips are an important and memorable part of family vacation plans. The downside is what's experienced when undertaking those road trips or simply running errands locally: traffic and construction.

Traffic is the annual summer ritual.

Communities across the country deal with similar problems and work to find solutions pertinent to the specific vehicular constraints of any given area. Here in Lake County, we are no different. With the county evolving from what was once a sleepy rural weekend vacation getaway for nearby city dwellers into a vibrant busy network of full-time communities, traffic has become a major challenge. Adding to thatchallenge is public transportation, so well-oiled in the city and on many suburban routes, is spotty and inconsistent with inter-county service. That in turn leads to more cars on the road.

There have been roadway expansion projects that have proved helpful. The improvements to Buffalo Grove Road and Route 22 are examples of good efforts to move traffic through as efficiently as possible, without major devastation to the surrounding area. In addition, one of the new darlings of road improvement projects are roundabouts like the the one at Riverwoods and Everett roads. What had been a four-way stop that often caused major back-ups along both roads is now a traffic roundabout, intended to move traffic along while still employing rules of the road.


Personally, I don't see how roundabouts aren't an accident waiting to happen. With many drivers not feeling the need to stop or even slow down at a stop sign, giving them the power to proceed if safe and trusting them to adequately decipher what "safe" is sounds dangerous to me. However, experts swear by the effectiveness of these quaint little traffic rounds, and with the reduced accident statistics as well, who am I to question. If it works and is safe, then let's go for it.

Another much larger potential project fraught with controversy is the Route 53 extension that has been a subject of discussion for more than two decades. Recently, the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors decided to fund a $25 million study to explore the viability and need for an extension of the expressway north to Route 120

Some communities and politicians are in favor, and some are adamantly opposed. Others, like myself, see both the potential benefits and drawbacks. The project almost seemed dead recently, with more vocal opposition taking the forefront in the media. However, apparently the Tollway Board thinks there's enough support and a big enough need to fund an expensive study. While it's never a joy to spend money on intangibles like trying to decipher whether a roadway will be a benefit or boondoggle, traffic and quality of life seem important enough to justify further exploration of the subject before making a ruling.

We've waited this long. It seems that we can hang a little longer to be sure the right decision is made based on the objective facts gathered in the study.
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ILs mantra..the beatings will continue until the morale improves but Expect Delays is good too. Seems some are happy that Chicago/land remains MISERABLE. Status quo is often asinine...Always feel free to use a DICTIONARY

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #289 on: June 03, 2017, 04:17:23 PM »

I still don't think anything will come of this renewed effort. Time will tell!
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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #290 on: June 11, 2017, 04:51:52 PM »


I found this while researching chicago's planned freeways
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ILs mantra..the beatings will continue until the morale improves but Expect Delays is good too. Seems some are happy that Chicago/land remains MISERABLE. Status quo is often asinine...Always feel free to use a DICTIONARY

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I-39

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Re: Illinois 53 Extension
« Reply #291 on: June 11, 2017, 08:59:00 PM »


I found this while researching chicago's planned freeways

And I believe I-90 was originally going to run up that corridor as it was going to be the primary Chicago-Madison route, but since the US Government had a policy that prohibited duplication of existing toll roads at the time, this never came to pass.
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