1 month, 2 weeks ago AP
Expressway would link Interstate 55 and Interstate 65
A Chicago-area planning agency voted Thursday to proceed with a $1.3 billion expressway between Indiana and Illinois, ignoring criticism from its own board of directors that the project was an expensive boondoggle, as well as pleas from landowners that it would destroy rich farmland.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's policy committee voted 11-8 to include the so-called Illiana tollway linking Interstate 55 in Will County, Ill., and Interstate 65 in Lake County, Ind., in its long-term development plan for the region. The step is necessary for the project to receive federal funding.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence have pushed hard for the 47-mile link, promising it would help speed goods by truck, reduce congestion and create thousands of jobs. They also say private investors will be sought to pay most of the cost for building, operating and maintaining the road under a 35-year deal, with tolls repaying the debt.
Quinn responded quickly after the vote, saying in a statement that the expressway "marks a major victory for economic development and jobs."