Could the unpopular plan finally be DOA?
April 9, 2018-The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, responsible for planning all transportation projects which will receive federal funding, has updated their “On to 2050” Comprehensive Plan. Included in the plan are all of the major transportation projects that the agency is recommending for federal funding. What is not on the list is the Illiana Expressway.
The Illiana Expressway was a contentious issue in Indiana until Governor Bruce Rauner said Illinois could not afford to build the roadway on the other side of the border. The proposal called for a public-private partnership to build a toll road to connect I-65 in Indiana with I-55 in Illinois. Proponents said the plan would pay for itself but released few details on how that would happen. According to CMAP staff, the cost to Illinois taxpayers could have been as high as $1.1 billion. Residents in Lowell were particularly upset by the proposal and made their feelings known in several public hearings in 2014 after NIRPC pushed the plan forward. Then Governor Mike Pence was a strong proponent of the public-private partnership toll road.
We can only hope that the Illiana Expressway fiasco is dead for good.