Illinois Route 53/120 Project Archives

On May 25, the Tollway’s Board unanimously approved a contract to complete an EIS for a proposed extension of Route 53 from Cook County into Lake County.

What is an Environmental Impact Statement?

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a full disclosure document that details the process through which a transportation project was developed, includes consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives, analyzes the potential impacts resulting from the alternatives, and demonstrates compliance with other applicable environmental laws and executive orders.

Learn more about an EIS

About the Feasibility Analysis

In 2012, the Illinois Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council (BRAC) proposed the Illinois Route 53/120 Project as a 21st century urban highway – a modern boulevard with a small footprint to protect the natural environment and preserve the character of Lake County, while providing much needed congestion relief and greater connectivity. The Tollway's Board of Directors reviewed the BRAC recommendations and agreed to move forward with a coordinated, corridorwide land use plan led by Lake County and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, as well as a feasibility analysis to determine how the project can be financed.

For more information on the project and to view the draft potential map of the Illinois Route 53/120 Project, click on the Fact Sheet link on the right.

To determine how the project can be financed, the Tollway's feasibility analysis will focus on five key study areas: design, environmental, financing, operations and regulatory. Also, as guided by the BRAC Summary report, the financing effort needs to "analyze potential funding options and pursue corridor concepts to the extent that they are financially viable, fiscally sustainable and equitable."

The Tollway's feasibility analysis is anticipated to be complete in early 2015. While this effort will not determine the exact location and configuration of the route nor a construction timeline, it may provide a foundation for future design and construction efforts.

View the Fact Sheet

For more information, email

Finance Committee

As part of a partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and Lake County, the Tollway is forming and leading a Finance Committee, which will consider detailed project information from the feasibility analysis to develop a financing strategy for the project. Ultimately, the Finance Committee will seek to answer the questions "Is the project feasible?" and "Should the Tollway build the project?" Its work will be the basis to develop a recommendation to the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors as to whether the Tollway should continue to move forward with the project.

At the same time, CMAP will form and lead a Land Use Committee that will recommend a corridor land use plan. 

For more information, email

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Working Group Documents

Land Use Committee

In parallel with the Tollway's Feasibility Analysis and project Finance Committee, CMAP is leading a corridor Land Use Committee comprised of representatives of local municipalities and other stakeholders. The Land Use Committee will participate in and help guide the land use planning process. At the end of the planning effort, Land Use Committee members will be asked to recommend adoption of and municipalities and Lake County will ultimately be asked to vote to approve the land use plan. This effort is in response to the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council's recommendation for a corridor plan that integrates land use, transportation, economic development and open space.

For more information about the Land Use Committee and plan

Blue Ribbon Advisory Council

The Blue Ribbon Advisory Council includes local elected officials, transportation and planning agencies and a diverse group of environmental, civic, business and labor representatives that serve in an advisory capacity as the current phase of work gets underway. While the bulk of the BRAC's work is complete, the primary objective in this phase is to ensure that the Tollway's efforts align with the groundwork laid by the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council in 2012.

In this next phase, the Tollway, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and Lake County will partner on a feasibility analysis and corridor land use plan, both of which were recommended by the BRAC as next steps for the Illinois Route 53/120 Project.

For more information, email