Richard Ray

I-80 Should Be Converted to Toll Road, Lawmaker Says

A local lawmaker wants to convert Interstate 80 into a toll road in Will County.

It’s a busy stretch of Joliet roadway, used by thousands everyday. Safety and road improvements on I-80 are a big concern for many.

A local lawmaker says he has the solution. Rep. Larry Walsh Jr. wants to fund the improvements and his plan already has several supporters.

"Expansion of tolling to highways is one of the answers to our infrastructure problems," he said. "Not just for the state but the entire country."

"We need to move to a place where we pay per mile instead of just when we fill up our gas tanks," he added.

Residents United For a Safer Highway are also supporting the toll road plan. They’re pushing for the state to accelerate spending on road improvements.

But some drivers say the state needs to find other funding solutions.

Truck driver Jose Alicea says I-80 definitely has problems, but charging drivers isn’t the answer.

"I feel bad for owners operators cause its going to be a lot of money for them," he said.

On April 24, Joliet Junior College will host a town hall meeting on the proposal.

Transportation officials, mayors from local communities and Walsh will all be in attendance.

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