A planning organization approved Thursday a proposed toll road that would connect Interstate 55 in Illinois near Grundy County to Interstate 65 in Indiana.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the 19-member Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee approved 11 to 8 the 47-mile road, which would start in Will County and end near Lowell, Ind.
The Tribune reported the committee was considering whether to include the Illiana in the master plan “created by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning [CMAP] to guide land use and transportation priorities for the region over the next 30 years.”
The proposed road would cost an estimated $1.3 billion to build. Proponents say it will create both part time and longterm jobs.
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, has expressed support for the road. Kinzinger’s district includes Grundy County.
In a letter co-signed by U.S. Reps. Bill Foster and Robin Kelly, both members of the Illinois congressional delegation, the three urged CMAP to include the Illiana Expressway in the long-range plan. The trio noted the road is not being proposed with the hope that future growth will occur, but is an “investment” to help manage economic growth that’s already happened.
“The Illiana Expressway is a necessary investment to enhance this benefit and to provide relief to the communities that currently bear the brunt of fright traffic in the region,” the three wrote in their letter.