States Sign Agreement on Illiana Roles
May 7, 2014 — The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana Finance Authority have signed an agreement regarding each state’s responsibilities concerning the proposed Illiana Corridor, 47 miles of highway which would connect Interstate 55 near Wilmington, Ill., and Interstate 65 near Lowell, Ind.
Officials from the Illiana Corridor Team, which includes both departments of transportation, say that having the agreement in place now will make the project more attractive to private investors and ensure the best financing deal possible, benefiting taxpayers.
“This historic partnership between Illinois and Indiana will pay dividends to the economies in both states,” said Illinois Secretary of Transportation Ann L. Schneider. “This agreement solidifies that partnership and our commitment to the success of this project. Moving forward with our regional and local partners, we are not just building a road, but creating jobs, promoting economic development and improving mobility throughout the region.”
The agreement outlines the financial commitment of both states to the project, which has an estimated pricetag of $1.5 billion. Indiana will provide between $80 million and $110 million in state and federal funding, while Illinois has committed at least $250 million. The remainder of the funding is expected to come from private firms working with the states.
The agreement also calls for the formation of an executive committee, with three members from each state, to oversee the project.
An environmental impact study of the highway was completed and submitted to federal officials earlier this year. Officials are awaiting federal approval, which they say they hope to receive soon, in order to begin land acquisition.