Mayor Marty Orr's doorbell rang last week for a certified letter from the Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation concerning the next step in the development of the Illiana Expressway.
The letter was sent to all property owners, Mayor Orr's home included, within the current 2000-foot wide path planned for the super highway.
The letter explained the process and what happens now that the B3 corridor through Wilmington has been selected as the only build option for a road linking Interstate 55 in Illinois to Interstate 65 in Indiana.
Water's Edge Estates Subdivision, on Wilmington's northwest side, and the village of Symerton, have been removed from the planning corridor, according to the current map on www.illianacorridor. org.
Orr hopes everyone who received the same letter will take the time to read it.
"It explains in great detail the process and all of the misinformation that's out there," Orr said. Of particular concern is the land acquisition process, which the letter explains thoroughly.
Receiving the letter does not indicate that an owner's property will be purchased by the state for the construction project. According to the letter, the actual right-of-way of the roadway will be determined in the upcoming environmental impact study.
"This is the second tier of a lengthy phase, where they're going to find out where that 400 feet is going to be," the mayor explained.
The study will also determine which intersecting roads will remain open and where underpasses or overpasses will be constructed to ensure access by emergency vehicles, farm equipment and school buses.
Engineers will even be considering the added expense for motorists forced to travel around a closed road and compare that cost to the expense of a new overpass.
In addition, the second tier work will include a noise impact study.
The property owners are encouraged to attend one of five neighborhood landowner meetings. The first will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Local 150 training facility on South Arsenal Road. A second at the Local 150 facility will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, at 5:30. There will also be meetings at the Will County fairgrounds in Peotone and Cedar Lake, IN.
The departments of transportation are also asking that property owners email or phone them and provide additional contact information, like phone numbers and email addresses, so that the Illiana study team can contact them in advance of certain field survey visits and other study activities. All communications should include a property identification number.
Tier Two activities are expected to take an additional 12 to 24 months to complete. Approval of the second phase could come as early as spring 2014.