Chicago MPO Puts Illiana on Projects List

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October 17, 2013 — An interstate highway project involving Indiana has a “green light” after taking a detour in Illinois.

Today the Chicago-area Metropolitan Planning Organization voted 11-8 to put the Illiana Corridor project on its priority list.

The M-P-O coordinates Chicago road projects for Illinois.  Its vote goes against a recommendation by Chicago’s Metropolitan Agency for Planning  which said the plan’s long-term economic benefits are unsubstantiated.

The Illiana Corridor involves more than 45-miles of divided highway from I-65 near Lowell to I-55 near Wilmington, Illinois.

The vote was split, and it seems to have left a political split referenced in The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) vote announcement, as follows:

“Statement by CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett on MPO Policy Committee vote regarding the Illiana Corridor proposal

“Today my fellow members of the MPO Policy Committee voted to approve the proposed Illiana Corridor amendment of the GO TO 2040 plan.  Due to that approval, the project is now part of our comprehensive regional plan’s list of fiscally constrained major capital projects and, according to federal law, may now advance to completion of its Tier II Environmental Assessment. 

“This process has been difficult for all concerned, and political tensions have strained the regional coalition that my fellow CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee members worked so hard to build since this agency was formed in 2005.  We must work to renew the spirit of regional cooperation that led to the development, adoption, and implementation of GO TO 2040.  And we must work together now to establish a framework for making performance-based decisions about funding transportation projects in Illinois, as the Board and Policy Committee unanimously recommended to the State of Illinois just one year ago.”

Click to see.  Illiana MPO statement after approval vote 10-17-13


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