A large turnout for the IDOT Elgin-O’Hare Hearing and Open House at the Belvidere Banquet Hall (1170 Devon) near Rohlwing Road and Devon Avenue snarled traffic Wednesday afternoon. Busloads of people arrived from Bensenville and Elk Grove Village to attend the open house from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Police and security detail were busy escorting and managing bus and car traffic — making sure people were able to find their buses.
The IDOT plans are important because many residential and business properties will be affected.
Bypass – North Leg Plans
Among a variety of plans, the most likely is the extension of Elgin O’Hare east to O’Hare International Airport along Thorndale Avenue — turning Thorndale into an expressway with a corridor for bus or rail services along the center of the Thorndale path with a transit hub at Thorndale Avenue and York Road.
Elk Grove Village officials object to designs that call for widening Route 83 into a major highway connecting the Elgin O’Hare and Jane Addams Tollway.
Bensenville residents oppose the widening of York Road to connect I-90 to the Elgin O’Hare.
Rob Sherman was escorted out the front door of The Belvidere about 6:30 p.m. He was told to leave the property. Subsequently security and police officers secured his departure. Details about the expulsion were not available Wednesday night, but witnesses reported that Sherman was shouting criticism of High School District 214 for asking students to support the Elk Grove Village position. Sherman’s claim that District 214 failed to fully inform students about the Elgin O’Hare project interrupted Craig Johnson’s public statement. Sherman has a daughter at Dist. 214 Buffalo Grove High School — the Village of Buffalo Grove is not directly affected by any of the Elgin O’Hare modifications planned.
Bypass – South Leg Plans
Linking the Tri-State Tollway to the Elgin O’Hare would disrupt properties in Bensenville and Franklin Park. Options for the south leg include the following:
Expressway south from O’Hare along County Line Road to meet I-294
Expressway located located just west of the Union Pacific Railroad line.
Expressway just west of the Union Pacific tracks.
The widening of Route 83 south of Elgin O’Hare east extension is also a possibility.
Expressway located directly over the Union Pacific track (expensive with difficult construction).
The least disruptive plan to businesses would be to build a north bypass along the western edge of the O’Hare airport property just east of York Road in proximity to railroad tracks that exist.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson told over 200 people at a rally outside the DOT hearing and open house that over 33,000 public-comment cards supported the building of the north bypass expressway on airport property. The residents and officials from Elk Grove Village particularly oppose the plan that would change Route 83 to an elevated six-lane limited-access highway. He told the crowd that, “This is truly a remarkable day in this area, not just for Elk Grove Village.” The comment cards were brought to the rally and delivered to IDOT Bureau Chief Pete Marmet — arriving in bags in dump trucks and wheeled into The Belvidere in wheelbarrows.