Plan to Add Toll Lanes to Stevenson Expressway Expands: Report

A plan to add toll lanes to the Stevenson Expressway is expanding, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In 2016, Gov. Bruce Rauner suggested partnering with private investors to add one express toll lane on each side of I-55 between I-355 and I-90/94, a 25-mile stretch that spans from suburban Bolingbrook to Chicago.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has since expanded on that proposal, one that has been brought up and studied multiple times over the years.

Now, the agency proposes having two new lanes in each direction from I-90/94 in Chicago to I-294, then one toll lane each way from I-294 to I-355, the Tribune reports.

The plan, pitched as a way to ease congestion on the busy expressway, would still have to be approved by the Illinois General Assembly, which never voted on the initial proposal, according to the Tribune.

Costs would reach about $700 million, the Tribune reports, a significant jump from the original $425 million one-lane estimate. The project would likely be financed through a public-private partnership.

IDOT did not disclose how much tolls might be, but the agency wants commuters to be able to use their I-Pass to pay the fare, according to the Tribune.

As far as timeline goes, IDOT plans conduct another environmental review, then have a public meeting in the spring.

If the plan moves forward, the Tribune reports that IDOT could begin looking for contractors in 2019, and the 18 to 24 month-long project could be finished by 2021.

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