Illiana Expressway investors conference kicks off Monday

2013-06-21T07:00:00Z 2013-07-15T12:15:07Z Illiana Expressway investors conference kicks off MondayBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

An industry forum that is part of a campaign to entice private investors to build the Illiana Expressway kicks off at 10 a.m. Monday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will pitch the project to investors at noon Monday, with backup provided by top officials from each state's department of transportation.

More than 400 investors, contractors and others are expected at the two-day event, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Both states have passed privatization legislation to pave the way for private investors. In late May, a request for information was distributed to solicit their ideas. That was due back on Thursday.

On day two of the conference, respondents will be able to sit down with officials from the two departments of transportation to discuss their proposals, according to the request for information.

The hope is that private investors will want to pay the estimated construction price tag of $1.3 billion in exchange for a share of, or all of, the toll revenues generated by the expressway.

The proposed Illiana Expressway would be 46.8 miles long, running from Interstate 65 in Indiana to Interstate 55 in Illinois.

A public meeting at Lowell Middle School on Monday drew 240 people, with most opposed to the expressway. A similar meeting took place at Peotone High School in Illinois on Tuesday.

For more photos, information and readers' comments on the proposed Illiana Expressway, go to https://www.facebook.com/IllianaExpress.

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