Highway 53 Corridor

Since the early ‘60s, the State of Illinois and Illinois Tollway Authority have considered a northern extension of Illinois Route 53 through central Lake County.

In addition to logistical challenges, one of the most difficult problems was to design a 21st Century thoroughfare without negatively impacting valuable ecological resources.

The Right-of-Way and two-mile Environmental Impact Zone of the four-lane highway would be central to Lake County which contains the largest number of state and federal Threatened & Endangered species of any county in Illinois.

AES was asked to assess the natural resources of the area, including functions and ecological services provided by the resources. We recommended strategies to minimize impacts as well as to restore and enhance conservation lands that might be unavoidably impacted.

Through research, mapping, and modeling, AES documented potential impacts to water quality, wildlife, and protected lands such as wetlands and forest preserves.

Our recommendations helped decision-makers choose the corridor scenario with the least impact, which was in fact a hybrid of two potential scenarios.

Planners also adopted concept restoration and protection measures that helped bring resolution to the thorny issues regarding environmental impacts from this important transportation development.

  • Ecological Assessment
  • Land Use Planning
  • Wildlife Surveys
  • Predictive Modeling + Mapping
  • Landscape Architecture

Illinois Route 53 Extension
Ecological Consulting
Central Lake County, Illinois

appliedecoHighway 53 Corridor