Interchange project will help transportation needs in south suburbs

2013-09-06T00:00:00Z Interchange project will help transportation needs in south suburbsTimes Staff nwitimes.com
September 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

POSEN | A new ramp connecting northbound Interstate 57 to the northbound Tri-State Tollway will bring thousands of jobs and better transportation to the Southland, Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday.

Quinn joined local elected officials in kicking off the $254 million first phase of the interchange project.

The first phase of the I-294/I-57 interchange project will create access from northbound I-57 to northbound I-294 and southbound I-294 to southbound I-57 including a new interchange at 147th Street.

The first phase is scheduled to be complete in 2014 and will accommodate 76,000 vehicles per day, providing direct freight access to Chicago's south suburbs and save drivers $4 million annually in fuel consumption. The second phase of the project is not expected until 2023.

"Once complete, this interchange will provided the Southland with many benefits for years to come," U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly said in a prepared statement. "Motorists will be able to reach more places quicker and easier. Existing businesses will enjoy improved access to highways in all directions. And local municipalities — particularly Harvey, Markham, Dixmoor and Posen — will find themselves more attractive to new developers. That's a winning combination."

The Tollway estimates as many as 110 workers will be employed on the job site each day and the first phase of the project will create or sustain an estimated 3,300 total jobs.

The project is a joint effort of the Illinois Tollway and the Illinois Department of Transportation. It is funded through Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital program and the tollway's Move Illinois capital program.

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