Tier Two studies began in August of 2010. The preferred alternative selected in Tier One serves as the starting point for Tier Two studies. Stakeholder involvement continues to be a critical element in Tier Two, and stakeholders will be engaged on all of the major project elements.
In Tier Two, IDOT, FHWA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are joint lead agencies for the preparation of the Tier Two EIS. FAA has joined as a lead agency to address the portions of the West Bypass that will be constructed on O'Hare Airport property. In addition, as Tier Two includes consideration of financing and construction sequencing scenarios, the Illinois Tollway will play an increased role in the study as both freeway and tollway options are considered.
Studies in Tier Two will be conducted at a greater level of detail. This includes performing engineering and environmental studies (based on updated 2040 travel forecasts) to determine:
• Detailed geometric plans and right-of-way requirements for the proposed roadway improvements
• Refined transit and bike/pedestrian accommodations along roadway improvement corridors
• Potential environmental impacts and proposed mitigation measures
• Sequencing, schedule and funding plan for construction of the proposed improvements
The results of the study will be documented in a series of reports including a Draft EIS (fall 2011) and a Final EIS (mid 2012); engineering reports including a Combined Design Report and Location Drainage Study; and financial reports including a Project Financial Plan. The project will conclude with a Record of Decision in late 2012.
The most current information available on these subjects can be found by reviewing the most recent newsletter, public meeting, or stakeholder working group meeting materials.