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Preguntas frecuentes

  • Where is the exact location? Can you show me it on a map?
    The Burnham Avenue Railroad Crossing Study will address the existing at-grade road and pedestrian crossings of 5 railroad tracks that cross Burnham Avenue immediately south of Brainard Avenue. The 5 railroad tracks are operated by the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (CSS) (2), Norfolk Southern (NS) (2), and CSX (1).
  • What government agency has jurisdiction over Burnham Avenue?
    The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has jurisdiction over Burnham Avenue and the roadway is also maintained by IDOT.
  • What is an at-grade (or level) railroad crossing?
    An at-grade intersection is where a road intersects with another road or railroad lines at the same elevation, or grade. In the case of Burnham Avenue, this project will address the intersection of Burnham Avenue with the five (5) railroad lines. The current at-grade crossing requires vehicles to stop at downed gates when freight, commuter, or passenger trains are passing through.
  • What is grade separation? What does grade separation mean?
    A grade separation is the method of creating an underpass or an overpass at a location where a road currently intersects with another road or railroad lines. Benefits of a grade separation include: • Elimination of intersection crashes • Elimination of delay due to a blocked crossing • Improved traffic flow and reduced congestion • Reduced carbon emissions from idling cars
  • Why is this project being done now?
    This project has been initiated due to funding provided by CMAP through the agency’s Surface Transportation Fund (STP). This fund was established for the purpose of supporting larger-scale regional projects that address regional performance measures and the goals of ON TO 2050. The Phase I study for this project has been fully funded through a combination of the STP and toll development credits.
  • Why should the community and stakeholders care about this project? How will this affect them?
    The community and stakeholders will have a vested interest in the completion of the grade separation due to the many benefits that will take place. From this project, the Village of Burnham and Hegewisch neighborhood will be provided better access, reduced travel delays, increased safety at this crossing, and an improved environment for all modes of transportation including cars, bicycles, buses, and pedestrians.
  • How can I get involved?
    Stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input throughout the project process via the project email, a project phone number and mailing in comment cards. Public information meetings and/or public hearings will be planned in or near the project study limits. The objective of these meetings taking place at different phases of the project is to educate the public and stakeholders on the project plans, benefits, safety information and provide an opportunity for everyone to share the input with the project team.
  • How much will the project cost?
    Due to the many alternatives that will be considered, the Village cannot confirm the construction cost for the project at this time. As alternatives are developed, high-level cost estimates will be prepared for each alternative, and this will be considered as a factor when selecting a preferred alternative. After a preferred alternative is selected, a final cost estimate will be prepared and shared at the final public meeting.
  • Who is funding this project?
    The Phase I study is funded by the Surface Transportation Program (STP) Shared Regional Fund administered by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The Village of Burnham received toll development credits for the local match. The design, land acquisition, and construction phases of the project are currently unfunded.
  • Are there any opportunities for new bike/ped crossings/connections because of the project?
    The specific pedestrian and bicycle improvements to be included as part of the grade separation project have not yet been determined; however, all alternatives considered will include pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. The Burnham Multimodal Connector is a bicycle and pedestrian bridge project being led by DoTH which is near the vicinity of the project corridor. This project is currently in Phase I Engineering and is anticipated to be constructed in the 2024/2025 timeframe.
  • What safety features are already in place or planned at the crossing?
    The existing safety features at the at-grade crossing are limited to railroad crossing gates and signals. There are currently no plans to upgrade the existing at-grade crossing and this grade separation is being proposed as a long-term solution to eliminate vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle conflicts with the existing railroad tracks.
  • How will the impacts on social and natural resources be considered in the study?
    As identified in IDOT's Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) policies, public involvement is critical to project success. The CSS process strives to apply flexibility and creativity in design to address stakeholders' concerns to shape effective transportation solutions while preserving and enhancing community and natural environments. Impacts on the community and natural resources will be one of many factors evaluated and considered in the selection of the preferred alternative.
  • What is the project schedule? When will construction begin?
    The project is currently in Phase I (preliminary engineering and environmental studies). After Phase I is completed, the next step will be to complete Phase II (detailed engineering and right-of-way acquisition) before construction can begin. Phase II is currently unfunded so the exact timeline of when design and construction will proceed is unknown at this time. Based on standard project development timelines, the earliest construction could proceed would likely be in the 2027/2028 timeframe.
  • How will the construction/crossing affect property owners in the area? Will it affect their ability to access their property?
    Due to the many alternatives that will be considered, the Village cannot confirm how adjacent properties will be affected and how existing traffic will be impacted during construction at this time. As alternatives are developed, high-level construction staging plans will be developed for each alternative and this will be considered as a factor when selecting a preferred alternative. After a preferred alternative is selected, detailed information on how the adjacent properties in the area and the traffic will be impacted during construction will be shared at the final public meeting.
  • How are the alternatives being evaluated?
    A variety of factors will be considered when looking at different alternatives. Factors considered will include but are not limited to: safety, traffic operations, bicycle/pedestrian access, drainage and utility impacts, impacts to railroad operations, environmental impacts, community impacts, land acquisition needs, construction staging needs, and cost.
  • Are you planning to build an overpass or an underpass? Can the project team provide more information on the design of the improvement?
    We are currently in the initial stage of the Phase I process during which the project team evaluates the existing conditions and develops a purpose and need. In the next portion of the study, the project team will develop and analyze a group of alternatives and evaluate them based on a set of criteria and public feedback. At this time, the project team is planning to evaluate a “No Build” alternative as well as both overpass and underpass alternatives. A “No Build” alternative would maintain the existing conditions and is used during the evaluation as a benchmark to compare to other potential alternatives. Based on the results of our technical analysis as well as public feedback obtained, the project team will select a preferred alternative later in the study.
  • Will property acquisition be needed for this project? When will we find out about the need for property acquisition?
    It is currently anticipated that some property acquisition will be needed for the project. The amount of property acquisition and specific parcels impacted will not be known until later in the study when a preferred alternative is selected. All work performed during this project will be in accordance with State, Local, and Federal requirements, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As prescribed under the NEPA process, the project team will seek to first avoid, then minimize, then mitigate any impacts caused by the project. The project team is currently developing multiple alternatives to analyze and evaluate based on a set of criteria and public feedback. One of the components for which the various alternatives will be evaluated is the impact the project would have on property/homeowners. After the range of alternatives have been evaluated, these alternatives will be presented to the public for feedback during the second public information meeting (currently targeted to take place in summer 2023). At that meeting, property owners will be able to confirm if any of the alternatives will impact their property and share their opinions about which alternative(s) they prefer. Later in the Phase I study, a preferred alternative will be identified and at that stage the property acquisition requirements will be confirmed. If it is determined that property acquisition is necessary, property owners will be notified during the Phase I study. Project team members will coordinate one-on-one meetings with property owners as needed to discuss the property acquisition process. These meetings will be held either in-person or virtually, at the property owner’s convenience.
  • How will this project impact property values?
    Proximity to a roadway or other transportation infrastructure is one of several factors including zoning, land use planning, desirability, and economic conditions which may impact property values. Given that all these factors influence property values, it is difficult to ascertain the impact that a specific factor may have on the value of an individual property. This project will provide a safer travel environment, improve accessibility, and enhance the quality of life within the community by providing better mobility for residents and commuters within the project area.
  • What would the design of the project look like? I do not want to look at a brick wall.
    The aesthetic of the design has not yet been determined. The project team is currently evaluating a range of alternatives which will be presented to the public at a second public information meeting currently targeted to occur in summer 2023. At this time, the analysis and design of the alternatives will be debuted and feedback from the public will be solicited. Later in the Phase I study, a preferred alternative will be identified and the general aesthetic will be confirmed.
  • What are the proposed impacts to adjacent neighborhoods, the Burnham Woods Golf Course, and Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve?
    It is currently anticipated that some property acquisition will be needed for the project. The amount of property acquisition and specific parcels impacted will not be known until later in the study when a preferred alternative is selected. All work performed during this project will be in accordance with State, Local, and Federal requirements, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As prescribed under the NEPA process, the project team will seek to first avoid, then minimize, then mitigate any impacts caused by the project. Additionally, this project will use the principles of the IDOT's Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Policy and Procedural Memorandum 48-06. CSS is a collaborative approach that provides all stakeholders opportunities to participate and share comments or concerns about the study's objectives and the alternatives. A primary goal of the CSS process is to ensure the project fits its surroundings and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while addressing safety and mobility.
  • How will this project resolve speeding issues that occur on Burnham Avenue?
    The purpose of the Burnham Avenue Railroad Crossing Study is to improve safety, reduce congestion, and improve mobility for vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle and railroad users at the at-grade railroad crossing near the intersection of Burnham Avenue and Brainard Avenue. As part of the Phase I study, the current speed limits along Burnham Avenue will be evaluated and the appropriate speed limit will be confirmed. All of the alternatives to be considered for this project will then be designed based on that speed limit to ensure that the roadway infrastructure does not enable motorists to travel at significantly higher speeds. After a preferred alternative has been selected and the project advances into detailed design, the project team may also consider incorporating traffic calming features along the roadway to help reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. In the meantime, we encourage residents to reach out to the Village of Burnham Police Department at (708) 891-2122 to share any concerns you have regarding speeding.
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