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Fermilab Position on North-South Highway Proposal by DuPage County

Officials of the DuPage County Board have proposed to study the possibility of constructing a north-south highway that would pass through the Fermilab site. Officials of the Department of Energy and Fermilab have responded that they are aware of the complex transportation problems faced by DuPage County and would like to be as helpful as possible. At the same time, they have reminded the County of their first priority to assure that the Department of Energy's scientific mission continues to be carried out at Fermilab, both now and in the future. Therefore, based on the recognition of the adverse impact on future accelerator operations of a highway built along Fermilab's eastern border, DOE and Fermilab have informed DuPage County that they would be unlikely to grant access for such an eastern highway route either now or in the foreseeable future.

The ability to construct new accelerator facilities on the laboratory site will be increasingly critical to Fermilab's continuing existence as a national physics research laboratory and to U.S. leadership in the field of high-energy physics. It is unlikely that a road could be constructed on the laboratory site without adversely affecting Fermilab's potential to carry out its mission in coming decades. Because of the scale, cost and technological complexity of new particle accelerators, Fermilab and DOE cannot predict the timetable for their construction, nor, with any certainty, when key decisions abut construction or timing might be made.

From the point of view of science research at Fermilab, the construction of no new roads near the site would be preferable. However, DOE and Fermilab want to be responsive to community needs. If the community determines that a new north-south road is needed, analysis suggests that widening of Kirk Road on the western boundary of the site would have the least negative impact on future accelerators at Fermilab. DOE has an existing commitment to the State of Illinois to provide an easement for such a road, if it is needed.

DOE and Fermilab will continue to work with DuPage County and the Laboratory's neighbors to help address mutual problems and concerns, while assuring that the Laboratory can continue to be a world leader in science.

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last modified 2/27/2001   email Fermilab