Illinois Board OKs $4B Interstate Expansion
The Illinois Tollway board this month approved a $4-billion, 22-mile expansion and rehabilitation of a stretch of Interstate 294 called the Central Tri-State Tollway—more than double the original scope of $1.8 billion. The project, the final piece of the 15-year Move Illinois program, will expand the 60-plus-year-old stretch from four to five lanes in each direction, mitigate flooding concerns and allow for “flex” lanes on the shoulders that would provide access for buses and emergency vehicles. Tollway chairman Bob Schillerstrom says better-than-expected toll revenues enabled the scope increase. Design is beginning on the project, with construction anticipated in 2020 for a 2025 completion, he says. The authority says tolls will not be raised.