This project will use the principles of the Illinois Department of Transportation's Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Policy, a collaborative approach that provides all stakeholders opportunities to participate and share comments or concerns about the objectives of the study and the alternatives.
A primary goal is to ensure the project fits its surroundings and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while maintaining safety and mobility. Early, frequent, and meaningful communication is essential to ensure the public involvement process seeks solutions, addresses all concerns, and takes into serious consideration the quality of life of stakeholders. The CSS approach will provide stakeholders the tools and information required to participate in the study process and information to understand how the PEL approach informs the subsequent NEPA process.
Stakeholder Involvement Plan
The goal of the Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP) is to actively seek the participation and feedback of communities, agencies, special interest groups, freight and trucking industry representatives, and the general public throughout the project development process. The SIP provides the framework for achieving consensus and communicating the decision-making process between the general public, public agencies, and governmental officials. Click the image above to view the SIP.
Public Involvement Activities
The project team will seek stakeholder input throughout the study. Stakeholder meetings ranging from small to medium-sized group meetings will be coordinated to engage stakeholders. The meeting objectives are to engage stakeholders by sharing project information, addressing potential project issues and concerns, and provide groups specialized discussions about the project.
Public Meetings and Open Houses
As part of the PEL process, there will be two public meetings held as online public engagement periods due to Covid-19. These engagement periods are held with the goal of soliciting feedback and creating awareness of the project. Opportunities for public comments, will be available during both periods. All public comments made during the engagement periods will be documented and made available on the project website.
Small Community Events
Active outreach to targeted stakeholder groups who may have limited access to the internet or language barriers will be conducted at small community events. The small community events will coincide with the public engagement periods and give the hard to reach communities opportunities to provide feedback and ask questions about the project. Promotion of the small community events will be through posters displayed throughout the communities and direct mailers to the targeted stakeholder groups. Promotional and project materials will be available in Spanish and English.
Health Precautions for In-Person Meetings
Will County and the State of Illinois public health and safety guidelines will be followed if public meetings are held. Precautions include limiting the number of people in the meeting area, requiring masks, availability of hand sanitizer, social distancing guidelines, hand washing guidelines, and the option to attend meetings virtually. To promote the adherence to the health and safety precautions, the meetings will have posted signs and adequate supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and disinfectant wipes.
On March 12, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the proclamation, further restrictions have been put in place across the State to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. Some of the State’s recommendations have been to wear face masks over a person’s nose and mouth physically distancing one’s self to 6 feet from another person and limiting gatherings to small groups; the amounts vary at certain phases of the project. Due to the limitations of the pandemic, virtual alternatives to in-person meetings are being explored to continue the progress of the project study.