Illinois Tollway officials are proposing to increase tolls for heavy trucks by 60 percent – from $4 to $6.40 – by 2015.
Officials with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority recently have opened a public comment period on the issue and will have 12 public hearings throughout the state.
The purpose of increasing tolls, officials said, is to fund a $1.8 billion capital plan that includes a $400-million conversion of certain existing lanes into high-occupancy vehicle lanes on a 41-mile congested portion of the Illinois Tollway system.
The lanes, dubbed “green lanes” by officials, would include toll rates that will vary based on the amount of traffic and the number of occupants in a vehicle. Higher tolls will encourage carpooling and transit ridership to reduce congestion, officials said.
The Tollway Authority is also working on a plan to increase lane capacity on parts of the system, Spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis said.
“We are currently working on projects to add lanes system-wide with completion anticipated by the end of next year,” McGinnis said. “That new capacity will make the inclusion of Green Lanes possible.”
Two major intersections would also be rebuilt under the proposal.
Tolls for passenger vehicles and light trucks would increase from $1.50 to $2.40, and trucks with three or four axles would have their tolls increased from $2.25 to $3.60 under the proposal.
Public hearings are scheduled to take place from Thursday, Nov. 6, through Friday, Nov. 14. The agency will also accept written comments on the issue. Click here to visit the Illinois Tollway site, which has the meeting schedule and an online comment form. Mailed comments should be sent to:
2700 Ogden Ave.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Public hearings are scheduled at the following times and locations:
- Thursday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., NIU Hoffman Estates, 5555 Trillium Blvd., Hoffman Estates;
- Monday, Nov. 10, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Quality Inn, 154 Plaza Drive, Dixon;
- Monday, Nov. 10, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Comfort Inn & Suites, 1122 N. Seventh St., Rochelle;
- Monday, Nov. 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sterling Municipal Building, Council Chambers, 212 Third Ave., Sterling;
- Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Clock Tower Resort, 78-1 E. State St., Rockford;
- Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Village of Deerfield, Council Chambers, 850 Waukegan Road, Deerfield;
- Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., NIU Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb;
- Thursday, Nov. 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Huntley Park District Recreation Center, Willow Room, Huntley;
- Thursday, Nov. 13, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Aurora City Council chambers, 44 E. Downers Place, Second Floor;
- Thursday, Nov. 13, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Community Building, 111 W. First St., Belvidere;
- Friday, Nov. 14, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Naperville Municipal Center, Council Chambers, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville; and
- Friday, Nov. 14, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., New Lenox Community Room, One Veterans Parkway, New Lenox.
– By David Tanner, staff writer