Below are the responses to questions that came from a group formed by Richard Ellerbrake. Please note that a number of questions and responses leave room for interpretation, this is the best we can offer without discussion.
1. Do surveyors have the right to go on your property without your permission? And drive nails in your trees?
Yes, per the Road, Bridge and Other Related Laws of Illinois under 2251LG8330/45.
2. What compensation will there be for those who loses their homes and present low mortgage rates? If someone has a 5% loan and has to take out a loan with a larger interest rate for a new home, how will they be compensated for such loses?
This is covered under the Uniform Relocation Act.
3. Would the 400 feet width be adequate for interchanges? Intersections? What ROW is required for these?
Some additional right-of-way would be required due to the larger "footprint" of interchanges and intersections. Because the facility type isn't being determined during this study and since the detailed design work will be done in a later date, it is not known exactly how much ROW will be needed. The study team will estimate the size of the ROW as if interchanges will be utilized at likely locations. Final determination of ROW will be made during the location and environmental study phase.
4. What is the study corridor width? What is the width of the transportation corridor going to be?
The current study area varies from about one to two miles in width. It is wider near Troy, Columbia, and between Belleville and Freeburg. The final corridor width, approximately 400 feet, is generally sufficient for all facility types.
5. If the state does not buy the land right away, will they pay the depreciated price at the time of sale? What keeps the land price from going down, because no one else would buy land that is to be condemned?
Compensation for Right of Way is based on fair market value. Fair market value is not based on the effects a roadway improvement may have on a property.
6. How can they build a road when they are broke?
Funding for construction is not available at this time.
7. Discuss farmer access to farmland if the farmland is split by a transportation corridor.
Access to farm fields will be provided.
8. Can a Metre Link extension be built without a referendum?
Metro kink is run by Metre, therefore you may want them to answer this question.
9. Potential closing of Scott AFB will have an impact on this project. Why should the project go forward with the future of Scott AFB in question? Did the study take into account the possible closure of Scott AFB?
The study team is aware of the next round of BRAG scheduled for 2005, and is including Scott AFB officials in the study's discussions.
As with any transportation project, there will always be "what ifs" and unknowns. While the closure of Scott AFB would have a tremendous impact on the region's economy, it is shortsighted to assume that closure of the base is imminent. It would be irresponsible of IDOT to ignore the growth and development being experienced by Madison, St. Glair, and Monroe counties. This growth is expected to continue. If IDOT does not conduct this study, and the base remains open and growth continues as expected, it will be very difficult, expensive, and painful in the future to locate a corridor around or through existing development.
10. Mid-America Airport has not taken off When the study was commenced, was MidAmerica a factor in reaching the conclusions of the study?
The Gateway Connector study is not seeking to provide an additional access point for MidAmerica airport or any other specific business, community, or institution. Rather, the focus of the study is regional - identifying and protecting a corridor that best serves the needs of the Metre East.
11. What are the advantages and disadvantages of making a four-lane road with turn lane, curbing and gutters on existing ROW?
One facility type being discussed is an arterial roadway system, which will be further evaluated in the location and environmental study. Other facility types, such as collectors, expressway, and freeway are also under consideration. In some cases six lanes may be necessary to handle traffic. It should be stressed that the type of transportation system will not be determined until the next phase when an Alternatives Analysis is prepared.
12. What about putting turn lanes at Troy-O'Fallon Road and US 407 Why not expand this intersection to parallel the features of the US 50 and Scott-Troy Road intersection?
The most likely connection of the Gateway Connector to U.S. 40 would be at or near 1-55/70. The study team does not expect that the corridor will intersect U.S. 40 at Troy-O'Fallon Road.
13. What about a diagonal approach from Moto-Mart to 55-70?
The Feasibility Study team investigated and ultimately determined the most feasible corridor. This study team will utilize their findings to narrow the corridor down to 400 feet. If any "fatal flaws" are discovered during this phase other locations will be investigated.
14. The last purchases of land along Scott-Troy Road was said to accommodate four lanes with curb and gutter. Why is more land needed?
Since the county currently has jurisdiction of this roadway, all questions of "history" should be referred to them.
15. Has Madison County acquired the same ROW as St. Clair along Scott-Troy (Troy-O'Fallon or Troy-Scott) Road? If not, what are the plans?
Same as question 14.
16. What are the land purchase policies in relation to ROW? Give detailed explanation.
The department offers fair market value for fight of way and only the amount of right of way required for a roadway improvement will be acquired. The department has three brochures related to the land acquisition process. They have been and will be available at all Public involvement meetings.
17. Are frontage roads included in a 400 foot ROW?
Generally, a 400' right-of-way is wide enough to accommodate two lanes of traffic in each direction with adequate shoulders, median, and two-way frontage roads on each side.
18. How much will this project cost us, and how much is state, local, and federal?
The preliminary estimated cost for this project may be $400 million. However, since the type of transportation system has not been determined, costs will more than likely change. Funding sources have not been determined.
19. What were the original projections for use ofi-64 and 1-255, and what has been the actual experience? What is the capacity of 1-255 and what is its present traffic load?
Actual average daily traffic numbers (ADT) can be found for all state routes on the IDOT website. Historical data is archived and may be requested, however, specific years at specific locations must be identified.
20. How will this project affect existing zoning regulations? That is, will the zoning change? Where it is now agricultural, will it stay agricultural? How will this project affect the requirements for one or three or 40-acre home sites?
Zoning decisions are made by local planning and zoning commissions and community leaders, not by IDOT or the state of Illinois.
21. From where will the money come, and when? What is the process and time table for obtaining project funding?
Them is currently no funding available past corridor protection. Additions to the program are requested by the District every July.
22. What happens if landowner has a capital project underway when the proposed spring 2004 registered letter is received? Will that project be included in the buy out?
If you have already begun an improvement project on your property, it is likely that your project will be "grand fathered" in. However, as a result of corridor protection, IDOT will still have the right to purchase your properly in the future.
23. Will there be commercial areas along this corridor or within this corridor? Who decides?
IDOT does not determine zoning for land adjoining rights-of-way. Zoning decisions are made by the municipalities and counties that roadways pass through.
24. Is it true that there is a map from the mid-1960s showing a north-south corridor in this general area? If so, what does it show? Was it taken into account during the study? Where is this map to be found?
The study team is unaware of this map.
25. What are the long-range plans for Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties, and how have those plans been taken into account in this study?
The study team has been working very closely with all three counties and the communities within the study area. The counties and communities have provided the study team with data and maps of annexations, land use, platted lots, and existing development. The study team will continue to involve the counties and communities in the process throughout the duration of the study.
26. Is there an expiration date on this plan? (If it is not implemented by a date certain, does the plan become null and void?)
There is no expiration date on the corridor map. However, if it is determined in the future that the need no longer exists for a new facility, IDOT may decide to release the properties in the corridor.
27. What happens to sewer and wastewater, and who pays for remediation?
Please clarify "remediation". If the word was intended to be "relocation", then:
If the corridor impacts existing sewer and wastewater facilities that are not within the existing State ROW via permit, then the cost will be borne by IDOT.
28. When is DOT's next public meeting, and where, and what is the agenda?
The dates and locations have not yet been determined, however it is expected that the next public meetings will take place in Fall 2003. The purpose of the meetings will be to show the preliminary alternative alignments to the public, as well as other pertinent study information in order to obtain public input to select the best alignment.
There will be no formal agenda. The meetings will be held in an open house type format.
29. Would having Metre Link only require less ROW?
Metro link would require less ROW but would serve less of the population than a roadway facility, The Gateway Connector Corridor study will not determine facility type or mode of transportation to be placed in the corridor.
30. What happens if for a period of years no money is appropriated for the transportation corridor? Is it correct to say that during such a period of time, the affected property owner is prevented from making capital improvements that would ultimately be bought at FMV by IDOT?
The corridor protection statute does not prohibit property owners from making improvements to their property. The statute outlines a process, which gives IDOT the right of first refusal if a property owner proposes to make major improvements to their property. For example, if you receive notification that your property is within the corridor, and you later decide to put an addition on your home, you need to notify IDOT. The Department will tell you within 45 days if it plans to acquire your property, and has an additional 120 days to begin the acquisition process. However, if IDOT does not plan to purchase your properly, you may develop or improve it as your local laws permit.
31. How does IDOT plan to prevent the deterioration of homes along the corridor (similar to the experience in connection with the expansion of Lambert Field) occasioned by homeowners not wishing to put money into improvements for which they will not be adequately reimbursed?
Since the price paid for property will be determined when it is purchased by IDOT it is important for property owners to maintain their property as they otherwise would. The condition of your property is just as important as if you were selling your home to another individual. Also, keep in mind that, after a more detailed study during the preliminary engineering phase, it is possible that the corridor could "shift" slightly.
32. Why should a projected 25% increase in traffic not be accommodated by the present transportation links?
Our studies indicate that the current transportation system will not accommodate the future growth.
33. What impact will the extension ofi-255 north to Alton have on this project, and was such an extension taken into consideration in the study? (If the extension was taken into consideration, where in the study is such consideration referenced?)
The feasibility study did look at southwestern transportation systems. However, the route in question serves a different regional area.
34. Which political entities have endorsed this project, and when? Who is promoting this project at the present time?
The Gateway Connector Corridor study has legislative support. If you desire to know if a particular representative or senator is in favor of the project, we suggest you contact them directly. In addition, all affected cities and counties have expressed support for this project.
35. Who originated this study and when?
The Gateway Connector study is the second phase of study being conducted by IDOT for a new transportation facility for the Metre East (a Feasibility Study was conducted from 19992001). An IDOT selection committee selected the consultant team, MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc., in late 2002. Following contract negotiations, the study officially got underway in February 2003.
36. Is it true that the rest of the studies needed for this project have not been funded? If so, what are the plans for future study? Cost? Timetable? Process for selecting study group?
It is true that there currently is no funding in place for any studies beyond the Gateway Connector study. It is anticipated that the next federal transportation bill will help provide Illinois with enough funding to complete future phases of the Gateway Connector Corridor Study as well as other much-needed transportation projects throughout the state. Costs and timetables have not yet been established.
37. Consider the highway between Breese and Carlyle: is it not overbuilt? If not, why not? If so, how did that happen?
38. How do you plan to prevent the urban sprawl that comes when road projects such as this one are completed?
While the phenomenon of urban sprawl is an important issue for IDOT, the Department does not mandate that municipalities set zoning requirements to either discourage or encourage any particular type of development.
IDOT's mission is to provide safe, cost-effective transportation for Illinoisans in ways that enhance their quality of life, promote economic prosperity, and demonstrate respect for the environment. While IDOT does not set policy with regard to planning and development, the Department welcomes opportunities to discuss issues such as urban sprawl with state and federal agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (such as East-West Gateway Coordinating Council), and special interest groups.
If you are concerned about sprawl, become involved at the local level. Tell your community leaders that this is an important issue for you, and that you support any planning endeavors that seek to control growth and development.
Under secondary and cumulative impacts in the Environmental Impact Statement, issues such as urban sprawl are addressed.
39. How do you assess the impact of non-economic costs when undertaking such a project study? How would you define non-economic costs?
"Non-economic costs" has a broad range of definitions, please clarify.
40. Why is consideration being given to disrupting existing roads and homes, when a transportation corridor could be developed in relatively open land affecting vastly fewer citizens?
Any transportation project will affect people. Some may be adversely affected, but many will benefit. The Gateway Connector study seeks to place a corridor where it will have the least number of impacts - to people, businesses, and the environment - and where a future facility could have the greatest benefit. While fewer individuals may be impacted by placing a corridor through open farmland, there could be economic impacts to the farmers who own the property. All alternatives must be evaluated, even those which may appear to have adverse impacts.
It should also be pointed out that the further away from development that a corridor is placed, the less attractive and desirable it is to motorists.
IDOT is conducting this study in a responsible, sensible manner, consistent with the standards of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the transportation industry.
41. Is it true that IDOT has already decided on the location of the proposed transportation corridor?
42. If you are notified that the road will take your home, will the state buy it immediately if you are ready to sell? If not, when would they buy it?
Undetermined, will be on a case by case, not actively pursuing right-of-way. If there is a hardship (home is displaced) the property owner can write a letter to IDOT and request an early buyout.
43. How long does the state's option to buy last? ls there an expiration date?
There is no expiration date on the corridor protection map.
44. What recourse does the homeowner have if he believes the appraisal is unfair?
The condemnation process allows for a hearing that provides property owners the right to argue for the fair market value of their property. This court will ultimately decide the value of a property if there is a dispute.
45. Is the appraisal made by comparison with other properties in the ROW or off the ROW?
comparisons are made in the area of parcel being appraised.
46. How close to a home can the state acquire property for a four-lane road before the state has to buy the home? That is, can the state buy up to the front door of a home? If not, how close can the state come?
10 feet on new alignment.
47. Is this project designed to accommodate 18-wheelers? If so, why? What prevents 18-wheelers from using existing interstates to satisfy their needs?
All roadway facilities designed by IDOT must accommodate all traffic, including trucks. Only local subdivision roads and streets can restrict heavy trucks.
48. Is it projected that Scott Troy Road will become a state highway? A federal highway? Remain a county road?
If Scott Troy Road is utilized in a future state transportation system, it will fall under state jurisdiction.
49. How will noise problems be addressed?
The location and environmental study, which will follow the Gateway Connector study (contingent on funding), will include a detailed noise analysis.
50. How does one obtain a copy of the feasibility study? Is there more than one study? What are the dates of the commencement of the study, and the proposed ending date of the study? Have the same individuals been involved in the study from beginning to the present time?
The feasibility study was conducted from 1999-2001 and is a separate study from the current Gateway Connector study. The purpose of the feasibility study was to determine whether there was a need for a new transportation corridor in the Metre East. The feasibility study was conducted by the consulting firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff; the Gateway Connector study is being conducted for IDOT by the consulting firm of MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc.
To review a copy of the feasibility study, please make an appointment at the IDOT District 8 office in Collinsville.
51. Are there reasons the selection of alternative alignment options must be done by a certain date? Are there any project-related dates that are firm? If so, what are they?
The study will be completed by mid-2004. In Fall 2003, the next series of public meetings will present the alternative alignments to the public. An alternative will be selected in early 2004, and the selected corridor will be presented to the public at a public hearing. The corridor protection map will then be filed in Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe counties, which is expected to take place later in 2004.
Due to the rapidly growing region, it is beneficial to record the corridor soon so that communities can adapt their planning around it and the impacts can be minimized rather than in the future trying to "squeeze" in a corridor after the region has been developed.
52. Are there requirements to spend a certain amount of study or project money by a certain date or lose it? If so, what are the requirements?
There is no "use it or lose it" stipulation attached to the funding for this study.
53. Why is the area on or east of Illinois 4, where fewer people live, not in the study corridor?
The feasibility study determined a higher volume of traffic would be sewed with a corridor further west.
A corridor placed further east of the study area would not serve the needs of the motoring public. Most of the development in the Metre East is occurring west of Route 4.
Roadway improvements follow land use. This study is being conducted in order to stay "in front" of projected growth and development in the Metre East.
54. Since Illinois 4 is state owned and Scott-Troy Road is county owned, why isn't state property considered first for major modification?
Consideration for a corridor for a future transportation system was partly based on the needs of the region, not on what the state had jurisdiction over.
55. What is the traffic volume of Illinois 4 compared with Scott-Troy Rd?
Actual average daily traffic numbers (ADT) can be found for all state routes on the IDOT website. St. Clair and Madison counties can be contacted for ADT numbers on Scott-Troy Road.
56. Does 1DOT have an eight-year construction plan publication? If so, where does Scott Troy Road fit in that plan? How may the public get a copy?
No, IDOT has a five-year plan. Scott-Troy Road is a county route and is not within the state program. The five-year plan may be found on the IDOT website.
57. What are the plans for residents who do not get bought out entirely to have access to their remaining property? Frontage roads?
Access will be provided to all properties along the corridor. The type of access will be determined when the type of transportation system is determined.
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