A $4 billion plan to widen the Tri-State Tollway was approved by the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors Thursday.
The Central Tri-State Tollway Project would rebuild and widen a 22-mile stretch of Interstate 294 from O’Hare Airport to Bridgeview and aims at increasing capacity, reducing congestion and improving travel reliability, officials said.
The project would run between Balmoral Avenue and 95th Street.
“A year ago, we asked Tollway staff to rethink plans for a short-term fix that would rebuild the Central Tri-State Tollway as it is, and instead, take a critical look at existing and future needs that we could address as part of our construction,” Tollway Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom said in a statement. “I’m pleased that the concepts presented today, provide the long-term vision we were looking for to guide our planning as we work to deliver a truly innovative and forward-thinking roadway to better serve our customers and the regional transportation network.”
The project, approved by a Tollway committee on Monday, will result in a 55 percent reduction in the time it would take to drive the full length of the Tollway, according to an analysis.
The Central Tri-State Tollway opened in 1958 as part of the original Tollway system. According to the board, more than 115,000 people work within a mile of the roadway.