GZA contributed to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT’s) Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 284-mile-long Intercity High Speed Rail (HSR) Project between Chicago and St. Louis and Tier 2 EIS for related regional rail projects. Improvements to existing rail corridors and stations are being completed to accommodate the high-speed trains. 



GZA completed environmental studies and document preparation related to wetlands, threatened and endangered species, bat habitat assessments, prairie characterization surveys, flora, mussel, avian, insect, and herpetofauna surveys. We also provided noise monitoring to assess potential impacts to grassland birds. The length of the corridor and varied and brief timeframes for species surveys made the project more challenging.



GZA addressed many aspects of potential impacts along the extensive project corridor: completed multiple threatened and endangered (T&E) species surveys; prepared a Conservation Plan and Biological Assessment for several species; completed wetland delineations and complex permitting; and conducted noise monitoring to assess impacts to grassland birds. Numerous on-site surveys for sensitive natural resources were conducted along rail segments between 2010 and 2021.  Numerous documents were prepared for submittal to regulatory agencies.



GZA provided the necessary natural resources expertise, project management, and capacity for this vast project to secure all necessary permits with no delay to the tight construction schedule.

This project, started by Huff & Huff prior to its acquisition by GZA, has continued as a GZA project.