by Dennis Sullivan
May 7, 2014
The Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation and the Indiana Finance Authority announced Tuesday they have entered into a bi-state agreement regarding public-private development of a proposed toll way linking Interstate 55 near Wilmington, Ill. and Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind.
The agreement outlines each state’s roles, responsibilities and project management duties, as well as project delivery requirements and schedule for the proposed 47-mile Illiana Corridor that would run north of the Will-Kankakee line.
Formalizing project details and expectations into a binding agreement will help to ensure that both states receive the best financing deal possible on the Illiana Corridor, according to the state agencies’ joint statement.
“This historic partnership between Illinois and Indiana will pay dividends to the economies in both states,” Illinois Secretary of Transportation Ann L. Schneider said in the statement.
“This agreement solidifies that partnership and our commitment to the success of this project. Moving forward with our regional and local partners,” Schneider said, adding, “[W]e are not just building a road, but creating jobs, promoting economic development and improving mobility throughout the region.”
IDOT, INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration are joint-lead agencies for the National Environmental Policy Act study process, working with communities along the corridor since the beginning to establish an overall vision for the development, including:
- Local and regional traffic improvements;
- Economic development;
- Environmental protection;
- Support for individual visions for each community and
- Local and regional planning.
Illiana Corridor proponents say the east-west roadway will create 13,000 construction jobs, result in an estimated $1.3 billion in wages over a 35-year period and save users $1 million a day in travel time.
Original material copyright 2014 Eastern Will County News; all rights reserved.
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