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CMAP’s MPO Policy Committee approves Illiana Expressway for “Go to 2040” plan


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A key committee at the Chicago region’s lead planning agency gave a major boost Thursday to the Illiana Expressway, opening the door to eventual federal approval of the project.

The policy committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning voted 11 to 8 in favor of including the expressway in its long-term transportation plan after almost three hours of public discussion at the Willis Tower…Please click here to read Keith Benman’s story in the Times.

Chicago Tribune: Illiana toll road supporters jump major hurdle

In a major victory for Gov. Pat Quinn, a key regional planning committee approved his controversial proposal Thursday for a new $1.3 billion toll road that would serve primarily as a trucking corridor linking interstates in Illinois and Indiana.

The Illiana Corridor got the green light from the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee, which by federal law must sign off on major transportation projects.

Quinn hailed the vote as a major victory for economic development and jobs that he said will strengthen the state’s economy….Please click here to read  Richard Wronski’s story in the Tribune.

NBC Chicago: Planning Agency Passes Proposal for Illiana Expressway

Plans for the proposed $1.3 billion expressway being pushed by the governors of Illinois and Indiana was passed Thursday by a planning agency that has criticized the project as an expensive boondoggle.

With an 11-8 vote, The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s policy committee passed the inclusion of the so-called Illiana tollway linking Interstate 55 in Illinois and Interstate 65 in Indiana in its long-term development plan for the region, a step necessary for the project to receive federal funding.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence have pushed hard for a 47-mile link, promising it would help speed goods by truck, reduce congestion and create thousands of jobs. They also say private investors would 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…Please click here to read or view Tammy Webber’s story on 5 NBC Chicago.

CBS Chicago: Illiana Expressway Approved By Committee

Plans to build a toll road connecting two interstate highways though the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana was approved by a planning committee on Thursday

The 11-8 vote moves the Illiana tollway extension project forward.

The planned roadway would connect Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind., and Interstate 55 near Joliet.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning policy committee vote was necessary for federal funding. But it ignores the agency’s own analysis that jobs and tolls are overstated and the project could cost taxpayers up to $1.1 billion…. Please click here to read the Associated Press/ CBS news story.

Post-Tribune:  Regional planning agency backs Illiana tollway

The Illiana Expressway took a big step forward Thursday when a regional planning committee voted to include it in the Chicago area’s long-range comprehensive plan, which qualifies the project for federal funds.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee voted 11-8 to place the 47-mile tollway within the Go to 2040 program, which outlines roughly $360 billion in land use and transportation spending between now and 2040. Only $10 billion of that program’s funding is reserved for new projects such as the Illiana Expressway.

“It’s huge, it’s huge,” Will County Executive Larry Walsh, a member of the committee and a strong supporter of the highway, said of the vote.

The MPO policy committee consists of the chiefs of the mass transit agencies and county board chairmen in northeast Illinois…Please click here to read Casey Toner’s story in the Post-Tribune.

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