Tomorrow’s the Last Day to Comment on IDOT’s Circle Interchange Expansion

Concerned citizens at the Circle Interchange public meeting
Talking to an IDOT project staffer (left) at a Circle Interchange public meeting.

Tomorrow is the final day to enter a comment into public record about the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Circle Interchange expansion project. Here’s a quick rundown of what can realistically be influenced at this point:

It goes without saying that the project’s elevated highway ramps, or flyovers, will be an aesthetic blight and a detriment to the pedestrian experience. Flyovers are dark, dirty, and feel unsafe. They also cost a lot to maintain.

IDOT’s “preferred alternative,” known as 7.1C, puts an overpass above Halsted Street and within 22 feet of the apartment building at 400 S Green Street (note that this is 15 feet further away from the building than in IDOT’s previous proposal). Another option IDOT is considering would put the same ramp under Halsted Street, at the same level as existing lanes. According to IDOT documents, one reason the agency doesn’t favor this option is because drivers would be merging into I-290 at a maximum speed of 40 mph, not 55 mph; another reason is that it will cost $8 million more and require more closures during construction.

To comment on the project, you can email Steve SchilkePaul Schneider, or Ann Schneider at IDOT. You can also call Ann Schneider at (217) 782-5597, or send a comment to:

Steve Schilke c/o Paul Schneider
Illinois Department of Transportation Bureau of Programming
201 W. Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 60196

There’s also the option to leave a comment online, though this seems less certain to reach the intended recipient.

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