Frequently Asked Questions

What is this study?
This study is a preliminary Engineering Assessment (a Phase I study) and is taking a look at the needs and evaluation of IL 131 Green Bay Road in Lake County extending approximately 7.3 miles from Russell Road (Wisconsin State Line) south to Sunset Avenue.
What is the Purpose and Need of the project?
The purpose of the proposed action is to provide an improved transportation system for IL 131 from Russell Road to Sunset Avenue. To accomplish this, the project must:
  • Improve mobility;
  • Improve safety; and
  • Upgrade roadway features to meet current design standards.

The proposed project also includes a goal of improving pedestrian and bicycle facilities along IL 131.

Who is responsible for this study?
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will act as the joint lead agency for preparing a complex Environmental Assessment (EA) for the IL 131 Green Bay Road Study project in order to satisfy NEPA requirements. As such, FHWA (Division Administrator) and IDOT (Secretary of Transportation) are the ultimate decision-makers for this project.
How is this study funded?
This study is funded through State and Federal transportation planning funds.
What constitutes a Stakeholder?
Stakeholders for a project include any person or organization that has a direct stake in the project being considered. This can be anything from a small group of residents and businesses affected by the redesign of a rural intersection to thousands of individuals when a major roadway or transit extension is being built. Stakeholders can include residents and landowners near a project, advocates for policy, community and historic interests, elected officials, government agencies, and many others.
Responses to the Primary Areas of Concern
Click here to view the IL 131 Project Newsletter (Issue No. 5, Summer 2014), which includes responses to frequently asked questions.
Is the Waukegan Port District's runway expansion part of this study?
No. The Waukegan Port District and the IL 131 Green Bay Road study are two separate studies lead by different agencies. The Waukegan Airport District is conducting an Environmental Assessment for a possible future runway expansion, whereas, this study is looking at needs and evaluation of the highway infrastructure needs. The Waukegan Port District is a stakeholder in this study and IDOT is making every effort to coordinate with their project plans throughout this study.
How will travel patterns and access be affected?
The proposed improvements include a two-way left turn lane to provide full access between Yorkhouse Road and Sunset Avenue, which has the greatest number of driveways. The proposed improvements also include a raised median between Russell Road and Yorkhouse Road, which will restrict access to right-in/right-out movements

The preferred alternative maintains access to the properties listed above by providing median openings with dedicated lanes for U-turns about every 1/4-mile and at intersections with traffic signals (see figure). For corner properties, existing access off of side streets will remain unchanged.

Left Turn Median

Figure: Left Turns with Raised Median. Click to view larger image.

The raised median will improve mobility by keeping vehicles from turning left into driveways and minor side streets. Instead, these vehicles will make U-turns from dedicated turn lanes at median openings. Safety will also be improved by reducing the number of places vehicles cross paths when turning to and from driveways and side streets; providing dedicated turning lanes to separate turning and through traffic; and including a barrier between north and southbound traffic. Studies have shown that U-turns reduce crash rates by up to 20- to 35-percent by eliminating left-turns from driveways.

Will there be property impacts?

The IL 131 project will impact surrounding properties. Most of the property needed to build the preferred alternative will be made a permanent part of the transportation facility. Additional land (called temporary easement) will be needed on a short-term basis while the project is being built. Some of the land needed to build the preferred alternative is located within the Waukegan National Airport and the Waukegan Park District. A permanent easement is proposed for this land.

The purchase of private property and cost of moving residents and businesses to build the project is regulated by state and federal laws, including the "Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Uniform Act), as amended' and IDOT's Land Acquisition Procedures Manual. Housing resources are available to all relocates without discrimination.

IDOT is not able to begin the process of purchasing land for the IL 131 improvements until IDOT's Phase I study, including the NEPA environmental document, is approved by FHWA.

What is the difference between Fee Simple Acquisition and Permanent and Temporary Easements?

Fee Simple Acquisition occurs when land is purchased by the State and made a permanent part of a roadway project. It involves the acquisition of all rights and interest of real property.

Permanent Easements allow the State access to build and maintain the roadway without changing the ownership of the land.

Temporary Easements allow the State temporary access on a short-term basis to build the project. However, the property owner retains the underlying ownership of the land. Construction activities such as grading work, driveway construction, utility relocation, and other minor improvements are common in temporary easements.

Who can I contact about the study?
You can direct questions and comments to us via this website. Written correspondence can be sent directly to:
  1. Illinois Department of Transportation — District One
  2. IL 131 Green Bay Road Project
  3. Lori Brown, P.E.
  4. Project Manager/Senior Consultant Studies Engineer
  5. Bureau of Programming
  6. 201 W. Center Court
  7. Schaumburg, IL 60196
How can I keep informed about the study's progress?
IDOT has a number of contact points for information on the study. The best way to keep updated is to join the mailing list and frequently check the study website.