Right-hand side ramps at Austin and Harlem are the biggest concern for people who submitted comments to IDOT. They move the source of air and noise pollution closer to where people live, upsetting families with young children and people with respiratory problems. More neighborhood noise bothers some. One person said high ramps would act "as a platform for launching particulate into the community." Others think the ramps do not stay within the ditch because they are above grade.
Economic concerns include negative impacts on property values and property tax revenues, the marketability of homes during a multi-year construction period and after construction, and the huge capital costs of rebuilding the expressway for a small reduction in congestion. One person thinks the "benefits seem modest" and "costs will be outrageous."
The ramps are "visual blight," said one person. Another said ramps "will be putting a view of cars and trucks in our backyards."
Construction impacts include potential property damage to homes from construction activities. Access across the expressway while IDOT rebuilds the bridges is a concern. One resident expects "the construction period will radically alter my living conditions and make my home unsellable."
IDOT has several options to resolve ramp issues:
1) Lower the expressway and bring the height of the ramps down to grade level.
2) Acquire CSX property and move the CTA to the south to allow more width for the expressway.
3) Rebuild the center ramps using current geometric design standards.
4) Rebuild six lanes.
Citizens for Appropriate Transportation