Richmond Bypass Presentation This Afternoon

These are the Richmond Bypass corridor under consideration, although the choices seem to have been narrowed down to the FAP 420 or the Railroad Corridors. Of the two FAP 420 is recommended.

3-7 this Wednesday, April 28, 2010, afternoon at Memorial Hall, 10308 Main St Richmond, the plan will be presented to the public. No formal presentation, but I would imagine that engineers will be present to answer questions.

Here are the options being presented, according to information on the web site:


The seven corridors were analyzed and compared based on their constraints and impacts on the Village. The following is a brief explanation of constraints for each corridor.

Keystone Corridor. The Keystone Corridor uses portions of the existing Keystone Road and has relatively few significant environmental impacts. However, it is relatively costly due to its length and rights-of-way (ROW) acquisition. It will take the greatest amount of agricultural land out of production and affect numerous farms. A significant flaw is the additional travel distance relative to other bypass options. The northern extension of Keystone terminates in the center of Genoa City, Wisconsin, essentially forcing the alignment to swing back east and use of a portion of the FAP 420 alignment. If constructed on the same alignment as Keystone Road, it would remove Keystone, an important north-south road, from the local transportation network.

FAP 420 Corridor.
The FAP 420 Corridor utilizes a significant portion of the right-of-way corridor purchased by the Illinois Department of Transportation in the 1960’s for a highway. The FAP 420 Corridor has relatively few impacts on the environment or existing homes and businesses except wetlands at the northern end. Because most of the right-of-way is owned by IDOT, the land has been preserved from development. In addition, it is the least costly bypass option to develop.

Solon Mills Corridor. The Solon Mills Corridor diverts traffic from US 12 well before Richmond is reached, thereby functioning well as a bypass. However, it will likely remove desirable tourism traffic for downtown Richmond. It has significant topographic and environmental barriers and requires the removal of several homes and businesses. It is a long corridor that requires numerous structures, including two crossings of the Nippersink Creek.

Railroad Corridor. The Railroad Corridor creates a bypass parallel to an existing railroad corridor before connecting to the FAP 420 ROW. This is the shortest corridor and potentially affects few homes and businesses. Negative environmental impacts include unstable soils and relatively steep, forested slopes. The southern terminus is affected by wetlands and floodzones, as well as business impacts.

Couplet Corridor.
The Couplet Corridor proposes a new one-way parallel road for northbound US 12 traffic around the downtown and uses existing US 12 for southbound traffic. However, because of existing constraints, it would not remove traffic from the two key intersections that experience the most significant traffic delays. It would require significant amounts of housing removal and conversion of a portion of the Hunter Country Club.

Near East Corridor. The Near East Bypass Corridor is east of downtown Richmond and designed to avoid existing and planned developments. It has significant negative environmental impacts, with numerous segments located in wetlands and floodzones. It does not connect efficiently with US 12 in Wisconsin, which reduces its regional transportation effectiveness.

Far East Corridor.
The Far East Bypass Corridor is an alignment between Solon Mills and the intersection of US 12 in Wisconsin with a southern leg to IL 31. The corridor is very long, costly, and does not connect well to US 12 in Wisconsin. It has significant negative environmental impacts near Elizabeth Lake.

No-Build Option.
The “No-Build” option does not address the current capacity deficiencies of US 12. Delays would only increase with the increase in local population and increased use and demand for regional travel.

The recommendations by “stakeholders” follow:


The seven aforementioned bypass options were presented to the project stakeholders and the public during the Public Involvement process. Based on their feedback, two preferred corridors emerged:

  1. the FAP 420 Corridor and
  2. the Railroad Corridor.

Although both corridors meet the aforementioned goals of the study, the FAP 420 was preferred for several reasons:

  • It is the clear preference of the public based on voting at public meetings.
  • It has fewer environmental impacts than the Railroad Corridor.
  • It does not place as many limitations on TOD development around the future Metra station.
  • It requires less property acquisition; it impacts fewer property owners.
  • It does not pose a barrier to north-south movements in the planned Tamarack development.

Vehicular retraints of today's road network.

At its northern terminus, the bypass connects to US 12 in Wisconsin, which is a four-lane divided freeway with limited access.

The southern terminus of the proposed FAP 420 bypass is US 12 south of Richmond.

The recommended bypass design should provide continuity of design to the existing roads and provide a transition from the higher speed roadway to the lower speed roadway.

Therefore, a combination of design standards and a transition area should be applied to the new bypass design.

In the north, beginning at US 12 in Wisconsin, a freeway or a four-lane divided facility is the applicable design standard.

Applicable intersection types are interchanges, with interchange locations recommended at Old US 12 and IL 173.

At or near Nippersink Creek, the bypass should begin to transition from a four-lane freeway to a parkway.

A parkway was selected as the preferred design standard of the public and technical advisory group during public meetings. A parkway provides essentially the same traffic capacity as a freeway, and both freeways and parkways limit access to maintain traffic flows. Parkways, however, are considered more environmentally sensitive and use context sensitive design elements.

In addition, parkways use significant amounts of native landscaping and limit signage to maintain natural vistas.

At the southern terminus, the roadway transitions from a parkway into the existing arterial configuration of US 12 and IL 31.

Several interchange or intersection options could be applicable at this location, including a roundabout. A roundabout could provide smooth traffic flow and a key Gateway opportunity to bring visitors into the Village. However, a roundabout must be proven effective with an intersection design study before it can be implemented.

Cost estimates are calculated, undoubtedly in today's dollars. The Alqonuin Bypass went from $15 million before the Piggly Wiggly and internal Village of Algonquin fights eliminated the cheapest Northern Bypass corridor across the Fox River at the Hansen Marine to the current Western Bypass plan (in which I had no more involvement than anyone else sitting in the audience), which is costing over $90 million price tag.

The project will not be cheap. $81 million for FAP 420 and $98 million for the route paralleling the railroad.

Scanning the report, I didn’t see a source of financing or a time line for construction.

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