The Illinois Tollway Authority on Thursday outlined a $12 billion, 15-year plan aimed to save drivers time and fuel costs,. But making that happen is going to mean a big hike in tolls.
The agency proposed an increase in rate of .35-cents-per-toll for I-Pass users, nearly doubling the .40-cents they’ve been paying since the 1980s. Motorists paying by cash would continue to pay double the I-PASS rate.
The Tollway said it expects the hike would cost the average I-Pass user about $11 more per month.
The hike would go into effect Jan. 1, 2012 and would help pay for the rebuilding of the 52-year-old Tollway system.
Specifically, the plan includes reconstructing the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), which connects Rockford to O'Hare International Airport, a new interchange to connect I-294 to I-57 -- one of only two places in the nation where interstates cross but do not connect -- and turning the Elgin-O’Hare expressway into a tollway providing western access to O’Hare.
Also included in the plan is funding for planning studies needed for the extension of Illinois Route 53 and the Illiana Expressway.
The Tollway trumpets two main benefits of the plan: decreased congestion and decreased fuel costs. The proposed interchange connecting I-294 to I-57, for example, could save drivers $4 million annually, the agency said.
Full details of the plan are posted on the Illinois Tollway's website at IllinoisTollway.com.
Several public hearing are scheduled for Aug. 18, 19 and 22:
August 18, 7 - 9 p.m.
Cook County - Chicago Ridge City Hall, 10455 S. Ridgeland Avenue, Chicago Ridge, IL
DuPage County - DuPage County Government Center, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL
Kane County - Kane County Gov. Center, 719 S. Batavia Avenue, Building A, Geneva, IL
Will County - Village of New Lenox, 1 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, IL
August 19, 7 - 9 p.m.
Boone County - Community Building, 111 W. 1st Street, Belvidere, IL
DeKalb County - NIU-Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL
Lake County - Libertyville Civic Center, 135 W. Church Street, Libertyville, IL
McHenry County - Village of Huntley, 10987 Main Street, Huntley, IL
August 22, 7 - 9 p.m.
Lee County - Comfort Inn, 154 Plaza Drive, Dixon, IL
Ogle County - Comfort Inn & Suites, 1122 N. Seventh Street, Rochelle, IL
Whiteside County - Sterling Municipal Building, 212 3rd Avenue, Sterling, IL
Winnebago County - Clock Tower Resort, 7801 E. State Street, Rockford, IL
The Tollway Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on the capital plan and proposed toll increase at its Aug. 25 meeting at the Tollway’s headquarters in Downers Grove.