Illiana Vote Gets Reactions from Indy and DC
December 12, 2013 — A vote by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission gives approval to the Illiana Corridor Project for its 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan.
The vote today allows plans for the Illiana Expressway project, as a proposed 47-mile highway extending from I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, to be submitted for final federal approval.
The vote received a response from Washington, D.C., where Indiana’s Republican U.S. Senator Dan Coats praised NIRPC’s action in favor of the Illiana Expressway, “This is an important step toward beginning construction of the Illiana Expressway, and I commend NIRPC for moving the development process forward. This critically important project will stimulate new economic activity and job opportunities in northwest Indiana. Given the fiscal constraints our nation is facing in Washington, the Illiana Expressway is a forward-looking solution that leverages innovative private sector funding sources.”
The Illiana Expressway is expected to be constructed from 2015–2018 at a cost of approximately $1.3-billion to $1.5-billion. The Indiana and Illinois Departments of Transportation are working together to build the project as a public-private partnership, in which a private contractor would design, build and operate the new roadway.
In response to the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission vote approving the Illiana Corridor Project for its 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan, Governor Mike Pence said, “I believe roads mean jobs, and today’s vote on the Illiana Corridor Project brings us one step closer to more jobs for northwestern Indiana. I am grateful to the members of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission for their vote in favor of this important project, which will bring jobs and economic growth to northwestern Indiana and throughout the state.”
He says, “The innovative funding for this project will bring new investment dollars into the state transportation system and allow the Indiana Department of Transportation to make further infrastructure investments that will benefit the region for generations to come.”
Indiana and Illinois are running separate procurements for each state’s segment and will pay contractors “availability payments” based on project milestones and other completion requirements. Toll revenues for the new roadway are expected to generate between $2.4-billion to $3.8-billion during the life of the public-private partnership contract.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s MPO Policy Committee already approved the Illinois segment of the project October 17.