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Environmental Impact Statement: Will and Kankakee Counties, Illinois and Lake County, IN

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.


Notice of Intent.


The FHWA is issuing this notice to advise the public that a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared for the Illiana Corridor Project in Will and Kankakee Counties, Illinois and Lake County, Indiana.

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Norman R. Stoner, P.E., Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, 3250 Executive Park Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703, Phone: (217) 492-4600. Diane M. O'Keefe, P.E., Deputy Director of Highways, Region One Engineer, Illinois Department of Transportation, 201 West Center Court, Schaumburg, Illinois 60196, Phone: (847) 705-4000. Jim Stark, Deputy Commissioner for Capital Start Printed Page 33402Program Management, Indiana Department of Transportation, 100 North Senate Avenue, N758, Indianapolis, IN 46204, Phone: (317) 232-0694.

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The FHWA, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), will prepare a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Illiana Corridor Project. The anticipated project termini are Interstate Highway 55 in Will County, Illinois and Interstate Highway 65 in Lake County, Indiana. The study area covers approximately 950 square miles in portions of Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois and Lake County in Indiana.

The Tier One EIS will complete a broad analysis of transportation system alternative(s) in the study area and evaluate the environmental impacts at a planning level of detail using a Geographic Information System (GIS) supplemented as needed by field investigations. The primary environmental resources that may be affected are: agricultural, residential, commercial, and industrial properties; streams and floodplains; wetlands; and open space. Alternatives assessed will seek to avoid and minimize impacts to these resources, as well as cultural resources and protected lands. In accordance with FHWA, IDOT, and INDOT policies, the project is being developed using Context Sensitive Solutions as the basis for an extensive stakeholder outreach program.

A range of Alternatives will be developed and evaluated, including but not limited to: Taking no action, transportation system management strategies, existing or new transit improvements, existing roadway improvements, and new roadways on new location.

As part of the EIS process, a scoping meeting for obtaining input from Resource Agencies in both Illinois and Indiana on the level of detail and methodologies to be used in the EIS, as well as the development of a bi-state agency coordination process, will be held on June 28, 2011 at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois.

A Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP), which will meet the SAFETEA-LU Coordination Plan requirements, will be developed to ensure that a full range of issues related to this proposed project are identified and addressed. The SIP provides meaningful opportunities for all stakeholders to participate in defining transportation issues and solutions for the study area.

Comments or questions concerning this proposed action and the Tier One EIS are invited from all interested parties and should be directed to the FHWA at the address provided above. A public hearing will be held after the Tier One Draft EIS is published and made available for public and agency review. Public notice will be given of the time and place of public meetings and hearings.

The Tier One EIS will conclude with a Record of Decision selecting a preferred corridor that can encompass one or more transportation alternatives. Following the Tier One EIS, projects with independent utility may be advanced to Tier Two NEPA documents that will focus on detailed environmental analyses.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Research, Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program).

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Issued on: May 26, 2011.

Norman R. Stoner,

Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, Springfield, Illinois.

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[FR Doc. 2011-14205 Filed 6-7-11; 8:45 am]