Noise walls - also referred to as sound walls - may be installed as a part of the I-290 reconstruction project. In October 2015, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will announce a series of public forums along the I-290 Corridor to provide Oak Park residents and others living along the roadway with an opportunity to discuss specific details of proposed noise walls. IDOT will provide information about noise levels, what a noise wall could potentially look like and their exact locations and heights.
Noise testing is being conducted to determine existing and future noise levels along I-290. Where noise impacts are expected to occur, IDOT will evaluate whether walls are both effective at reducing noise and cost effective. Residents of properties along the Eisenhower that would benefit from having a wall will be invited to the October meetings. In some locations, neighboring homes one or two properties away from I-290 also may benefit from having a wall.
After the October meetings, residents of the properties that would benefit from a wall – whether owners or renters – will be asked to vote their support or opposition to having a noise wall constructed. The outcome of the vote will determine whether or not noise walls will be constructed in the qualifying areas as part of the I-290 reconstruction project. It is possible that some areas of Oak Park may vote for a noise wall, while others vote against a noise wall. The outcome will depend on voting results for each individual wall location.
South Oak Park Noise
I live in Oak Park, 2.5 blocks south of the Ike. The Ike, as we all know, is loud, and expanding it will only make it louder. With so many homes and schools close to the Ike, the residents of Oak Park (and of all the communities the Ike passes through) deserve adequate noise protection if we are going to continue to accommodate far western suburban commuters who desire to travel by car instead of public transit.
Widen the Ike
This project is long overdue.The rush-hour traffic jam for those of us returning to Oak Park from downtown in the evenings typically stretches all the way to California Ave. At minimum, it adds 20 minutes to the drive home every day. This is over seven hours a month for everyone who relies on the Ike to get home. The left-hand exits further mess up traffic flow. This can't be fixed soon enough.
Very interesting. Is that proposed for Harlem or Austin or both?
The Harlem and Cicero exits really do need to be changed. Above any noise or aesthetic issue there is a physical safety issue for people using the expressway. Left entrance and exits mean slower traffic merging into or out of the left lane which is a hazard to everyone. Not to mention traffic on the Harlem exit backs up into the lanes. Now we have stopped traffic in the left lane on a highway. There is also the issue of traffic backups and resulting accidents on both northbound and southbound traffic on Harlem.
Like it or not, we are not a 'special snowflake' and we need to accept the change because it is for everyone's greater good,including the residents of Oak Park.
Needed improvement, let's make the most of it
The improvements are necessary and the added noise barriers will be essential (and helpful). I wonder how the added space utilized by the highway will affect Garfield Avenue; driving on that road is already so very narrow. With the construction, I highly encourage the village to pursue the options previously discussed of making more green space over the highway, extending the parks. You can't build more land in Oak Park, so let's make the most of what we have.
With the increased lanes and more traffic, IDOT needs to add noise barriers especially on the sourh side of I-290 in Oak Park. The north side already has a wood fence up but nothing on the south side yet. If we have to put up with more traffic and pollution, the barriers are needed to make sure the residential areas remain just that, residential. I saw IDOT added the barriers in Hillside when they expanded in that area, and would expect the same as they continue their expansions. Overall, it is sad that they are not considering to imporve our transit systems with something other than cars.
Left lane ramps = bad design that needs to be fixed
Left lane ramps are dangerous, inefficient, and obsolete. These ramps are a disaster that needs to be fixed. These ramps were obviously a bad design to begin with, but that doesn't mean we have to live with them forever. Let's get this fixed.
Seize the Opportunity
For all the safety and traffic issues, we Oak Parkers should undoubtedly welcome a rebuild of 290. Though, we must seize this opportunity to demand and require the the most forward thinking to materially improve the noise issues and aesthetics. The current plans clearly do not get us there. While fully "capping the Ike" does not appear to be on the table, we need to encourage our Village Board to strive for, at least, Variation One of the Community Preferred Concept (see pg.18 - http://www.oak-park.us/sites/default/files/eisenhower/documents/2005-03-...). Absent this, new Cta stations, and an improved blue line, Oak Park should not view the rebuild as a success. Let's all band together to not IDOT walk all over our Village, as they did 60 years ago.
Concerned about Noise and Air Quality
As a homeowner with small children that lives a block away from the Ike, I am quite concerend about this project. This is my neighborhood. I am sure you are aware of all the problems associated with more cars and the impact this has on our quality of life. However, I just want to address one issue that is often forgotten, the noise from hellicopters flying over during the construction project. Is there anyway to limit the copter and not allow them to fly over. They are extremely loud and will ofte stay in the same place for hours impacting my house and family. I hope you can look into this often forgotten, but important issue.
Air Quality and Noise Reduction is needed...
I live in a condo facing the Ike and when we have our screened windows open, we get a layer of dirt inside the screen unlike anywhere else I've lived. I don't want to test it for fear of what might be in it. I believe a sound barrier wall would also reduce the likelihood of pollutants settling in our area. Noise reduction is the most obviously needed solution, as the highway noise is much like having ocean waves nearby, with a mix of horns and airbrakes.
Single East Bound Ramp from Harlem
The proposed ramp onto the East bound Ike, from the north is a single lane only. That means in a short time, once the Eisenhower becomes saturated again, the commuters from Elmwood Park, Forest Park, River Forest and points North and west will be using Oak Park via Jackson and Harrison and Madison as an on ramp - as they are today. This does not benefit Oak Park. We must demand that IDOT provide two lanes into the east bound Eisenhower.