Illiana Expressway hearings on tap next week

2014-02-12T09:30:00Z 2014-02-14T18:23:31Z Illiana Expressway hearings on tap next weekBy Keith Benman, (219) 933-3326

The public can comment on the Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Study and the route chosen for the Illiana Expressway at two public hearings next week.

The first will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Feb. 18, at Lowell Middle School, 19250 Cline Avenue.

The second will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19, at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 training facility, 19800 West Arsenal Road, Wilmington, Ill.

The Illiana Expressway would run 47 miles from Interstate 65 just northeast of Lowell to Interstate 55, near Wilmington, Ill. It has a projected cost of $1.3 billion. It will be operated as a toll road.

In addition to the public hearings, land acquisition specialists from both states will be at the hearings to talk to landowners.

A court reporter will be present to take public comment and make it part of the official public record.

Comments can also be presented in writing. The public comment period on the Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Study ends March 10. Copies of the study are available online, at state department of transportation offices and local libraries along the route.

The Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Study will soon be put in final form and submitted to federal agencies for approval. Both states hope to get construction of the expressway underway in 2015.

The Illiana Corridor Planning Group that conducted the study is composed of staff from the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation and consultants.

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