Horner & Shifrin was selected by IDOT to complete an Environmental Impact Statement for a new transportation facility improving the east-west travel ways through the Shawnee National Forest in the Illinois counties of Alexander, Pulaski, and Union. This study, referred to as the Shawnee Parkway, required detailed look at the transportation system within the study area to address the lack of east-west roadways and provide for economic opportunities. This study was initiated after the IDOT U.S. 66 Corridor study which was to assess transportation improvements from Kentucky through southern Illinois to Missouri was unsuccessful due to lack of neighboring state participation.
The study used the tools of Context Sensitive Solutions to work closely with all environmental regulatory agencies and study area communities as the study limits were within this environmental sensitive region. Coordination with the agencies included a tour of the study area with members from Federal, State, and local environmental agencies, IDOT-BDE, and FHWA. CSS activities included a Stakeholder Involvement Plan (SIP), one-on-one stakeholder interviews, a a community advisory group (CAG), public meetings, newsletters, and public participation surveys. Horner & Shifrin also developed a website with an interactive map and a document library in order to be more transparent with the study stakeholders.
The Horner & Shifrin Team mapped all environmental resources within the study along with the property owners. Utilizing this information along with input from the public, preliminary alternatives were developed and their impacts assessed. In addition, the Horner & Shifrin Team completed a purpose and need document proving the lack of transportation linkage in the study area needed to be addressed. This project concluded in 2017 due to lack of State-wide support.
Alexander, Pulaski, & Union Counties, Illinois