Context Sensitive Solutions

Study Schedule Graphic

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IDOT is using a process called context sensitive solutions, or CSS, to involve study area stakeholders in the IL 131 project. According to IDOT's CSS policy, a stakeholder is anyone who could be affected by the project and has a stake in its outcome. Stakeholders include residents and other interested parties who can help IDOT understand the needs for, and concerns about, the proposed project. IDOT's goals for the CSS process include:

IDOT's Phase I study and CSS processes include gathering input from the project stakeholders and the public before making a decision about a project. The IL 131 project includes a Stakeholder Involvement Plan that sets goals for public and stakeholder involvement and identifies ways to help reach those goals.

IDOT formed working groups to provide input on the proposed project. The Project Study Group (also called the project team) guides the alternatives development process, coordinates feedback from the working groups and the general public, and makes the final decisions about the project. The Corridor Planning Group and the Technical Advisory Group provide input at key milestones of the alternatives development process, including the purpose and need, preliminary alternatives, refined alternatives and the preferred alternative.

Working Group Structure

Figure: Working Group Structure. Click to view larger image.

IDOT also reached out to potentially affected community members using newsletters, press releases, a project website, and large-scale public meetings. These tools provided the public the information needed to make informed decisions and offer important input about the alternatives. They also provided a way for the project team and the general public to discuss the trade-offs between the project improvements and their impacts.

To date, the outreach efforts for the IL 131 project have included four Corridor Planning Group and Technical Advisory Group meetings and four public meetings. The Project Study Group considered all input provided by the project stakeholders while developing, refining and choosing the preferred alternative. Often, this feedback resulted in changes that provide better solutions for all of the project stakeholders.