What is it?

Photo of traffic congestion.The Tri-County Access Project is a comprehensive regional study that will determine once and for all how to ease traffic congestion in Lake, northern Cook and eastern McHenry counties in a way that is environmentally-friendly and fiscally responsible.

Traffic congestion is an immense quality of life issue in Lake, northern Cook and eastern McHenry counties. While families and employment centers are attracted to the energy of the region, the area’s transportation network has remained stagnant. As a result, residents, visitors and commuters face daily gridlock, spending valuable time stuck in traffic instead of with their families, or doing other things that they enjoy.

While various transportation alternatives have been studied and discussed over the years – including the extension of Illinois Route 53 and improvements along Illinois Route 120 – nothing has materialized.  With travel demand and congestion increasing, doing nothing is no longer an option.  In fact, if no action is taken, the average speed on many roads within the region is expected to drop to 14 miles per hour within 20 years.

The question is no longer “if,” but “how.”

Sponsored by the Illinois Tollway, the Tri-County Access Project is the definitive study of the region’s transportation needs. It brings together stakeholders from throughout the region to determine how best to move forward, examining a reasonable range of alternatives to address traffic congestion in an approximately 1000 square mile study area that includes 5 counties in 2 states and more than 85 cities and villages

The public involvement program is designed to encourage maximum input from agencies, transportation and planning organizations, businesses, civic groups, as well as the people that live, work and visit the region.

Ultimately, the goal of the project is to arrive at a comprehensive regional strategy that will:

  • Relieve traffic congestion – now and for the future
  • Improve the quality of life for all residents
  • Encourage economic growth and job creation
  • Not only protect the environment, but enhance it