Illiana Expressway toll road gets the green light

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Friday, January 25, 2013

The feds have given the green light to the Illiana Expressway south of Chicago. According to proposal documents, transportation officials in Illinois and Indiana will seek to hire a private firm to design, build and operate the $1.25 billion roadway as a toll road.

The Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation, along with the Federal Highway Administration, signed an agreement approving a preferred corridor that will eventually link Interstate 65 at Cedar Lake, IN, with I-55 near Wilmington, IL.

Transportation officials said the agreement is a “significant milestone” made possible through federal highway bill MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, which helped expedite the approval process.

Officials have touted the Illiana Expressway for years, saying it will relieve congestion on other South Chicago roadways.

The next phase of the project, which could take one or two years, is to narrow the corridor from 2,000 feet wide to a final 400-foot right of way.

Also on tap for the coming year is a financing study to determine things like toll rates.

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